"It seemed like the movement of the earthquake was eternal — it never quit," wrote Sister Torres Henriquez in an e-mail shared with friends.
The disaster — which claimed more than 700 lives and left many more without power, water and food — "has been a great blow for all, and event of much reflection," she added. "Chile is a country of many earthquakes, but I think this has been devastating."
Counted among the quake's mortally wounded are three Latter-day Saints. (Their names have not been released to the media.)
All missionaries serving in the country's nine missions were reported as safe and many have been enlisted in ongoing relief efforts. Some missionary apartments were severely damaged, so affected missionaries were staying in the homes of members or in meetinghouses, according to a Church news release.