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LDS Church Releases Statement After Mexico Earthquake

News Release from Mormon Newsroom

September 19, 2017 at 6:45 p.m. MDT

The Church issued the following statement in English and Spanish on the Mexico City earthquake:

We are heartbroken to see the destruction and suffering that is occurring as a result of another serious earthquake in Mexico. At this time, it’s difficult to understand fully the impact, including to Church members and facilities. The Missionary Training Center in Mexico was not damaged, and the missionaries there are safe. There are several missions in this region, and mission presidents are working to determine the status of all missionaries. Some have reported that all are safe, while others are still assessing the situation. This is complicated by damaged communications systems, large distances, and travel difficulties. Mission presidents will keep families updated as they are able, and we will provide additional details as we learn more. We pray for their safety and invite others to join us in our prayers for Mexico and her people.

Español:

Nos entristece ver la destrucción y el sufrimiento que está ocurriendo como resultado de otro serio terremoto en México. En este momento, es difícil entender plenamente su impacto, incluso entre miembros de la Iglesia o en instalaciones. El Centro de Capacitación Misional en México no ha recibido daños y sus misioneros se encuentran a salvo. Hay varias misiones en esta región, y los presidentes de misión están trabajando para determinar el estado de todos los misioneros. Algunos han reportado que todos están seguros, mientras que otros todavía están evaluando la situación. Esto es complicado debido a daños en los sistemas de comunicación, grandes distancias y dificultad al viajar. Los presidentes de misión mantendrán a las familias informadas como les sea posible y proporcionaremos detalles adicionales a medida que estén disponibles. Oramos por su seguridad e invitamos a otros a unirse a nuestras oraciones por México y su gente.

UPDATE 

September 19, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. MDT

For the second time in two weeks, a serious earthquake has struck Mexico. Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are assessing damage from the 7.1 magnitude earthquake that shook central Mexico today, causing buildings to sway. Reports put the death toll at more than 100 people. The quake occurred on the anniversary of a 1985 quake that did major damage to Mexico City. Some buildings are reported collapsed with an unknown number of people trapped in the rubble, but the extent of injuries and damage is not immediately available. The epicenter of the quake was near the town of Raboso, about 76 miles southeast of Mexico City.

Chiapas Earthquake Relief

Meanwhile, the first earthquake to strike Mexico this month occurred on September 7. The Church is distributing food, tents, hygiene kits and other relief supplies to earthquake victims in Mexico who were impacted by the 8.2 magnitude quake in the states of Oaxaca and Chiapas in southern Mexico. More than 2 million people were affected. The greatest impact was felt in the city of Juchitán.

More than 90 people were killed in the earthquake, including three Church members. Food shortages are reported, and hundreds of people are without shelter.

Thursday, September 14, Elder Paul B. Pieper, Mexico Area president, visited food distribution points and met with government and local Church leaders, as well as families affected by the earthquake, to give support.

“The earthquake gives an opportunity to not only rebuild the city but also to rebuild souls,” said Elder Pieper.

Ivette Morán Rodríguez de Murat, president of Oaxaca’s System for the Integral Development of the Family, thanked Elder Piper for the Church’s donations. “There is much to do in Oaxaca. We must work together in heartfelt solidarity, and we are grateful not to be alone,” she said.

Latter-day Saints have sent 10,000 boxes of food, 300 tents and 5,000 hygiene kits to Oaxaca. Another 5,000 food boxes have been shipped to the state of Chiapas.

Thousands of homes were damaged, including the homes of 284 Latter-day Saint families. The earthquake also impacted 26 Latter-day Saint meetinghouses. Four Mormon meetinghouses have been used to provide shelter.

Jorge Toledo said his family was sleeping when the earthquake hit. “We barely managed to get out,” said Toledo. “We lost everything.”

Elder Pieper encouraged the members to “make sure this natural disaster is not a spiritual disaster; make sure it is a spiritual blessing.”

The Church issued a statement on September 7 following the earthquake. Two missions of the Church were directly impacted, the Mexico Tuxtla Gutierrez and Mexico Oaxaca Missions. All missionaries are safe.

In other news from Mexico, assistance is being provided to those impacted by two other natural disasters.

The Church donated 4,500 boxes of food and 2,500 hygiene kits following Tropical Storm Lidia, which heavily damaged the Baja California Peninsula, leaving four dead and several missing.

Local leaders are also responding to the needs of families affected by Hurricane Katia, which recently struck the northern part of Veracruz and several states in central Mexico.

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