LDS among 240 dead in Philippine storm

At least 24 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are among the more than 200 dead after tropical storm Ketsana scythed across the northern Philippines over the weekend, church officials said.

Overwhelmed rescue crews today confirmed the deaths of at least 240 people from the Philippine capital of Manila and its surrounding towns.

The storm, which dumped more than a month's worth of rain in 12 hours, damaged 15 LDS Church meetinghouses in the region, according to church spokesman Cody Craynor.

"The total number of members affected by the flooding is still being assessed; however, all church missionaries are safe and accounted for," Craynor said.

Local missionaries and church members are participating in massive cleanup efforts from the country's worst flooding conditions in more than 40 years, he said.

Church members in unaffected areas mobilized to donate clothing and bedding while the church's welfare operations are purchasing locally available supplies such as food, water, clothing, hygiene items and other relief for distribution among flood victims.

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