Last Saturday, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck the country of Haiti, leaving devastation and rubble in many cities and towns in the southern part of the country.
At the time of this article’s publication, over 1,400 people have died, 6,900 are injured, and thousands more are still missing. In the days following the initial quake, aftershocks of up to 5.6 on the Richter scale have hit the country as well. Tens of thousands of Haitians, including members of the Church, have been left homeless after the earthquake and numerous tropical storms have hindered timely rescue efforts.
Gethro Nerosil, president of the Haiti Port-au-Prince Mission, has reported that all Latter-day Saint missionaries serving in Haiti are safe and that those who were in the hardest-hit areas have been moved to safer locations.
Under the direction of the Area Presidency, Elder Hubermann Bien-Aimé and Elder Paul H. Jean Baptiste have organized an emergency committee to monitor and manage the situation and direct timely responses and aid to the residents’ and communities’ needs.
Mackenson Noel, local Welfare and Self-Reliance Manager, said the first installment of aid—food, water, and tents—is on its way to Church members and affected communities. The Red Cross, Rotary Club International, and Church leaders will assist with the distribution.
The Caribbean Area Presidency has also asked for prayers and attentiveness to opportunities to serve the people of Haiti, both now and in the future as the country and its residents embark on their long recovery journey.
“The idea is to understand that there is a purpose. He knows everything that happens to us,” Elder Paul H. Jean Baptiste of the Seventy remarked. “As President Russell M. Nelson has said, ‘Faith empowers us to do things that seem impossible to us.’”
Read the full statement here.