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Posted: 2019-02-06 14:27:43

Originally appeared on LDSCharities.org.

Roof damage on a house as a result of Typhoon Yutu.

On Thursday, October 25, 2018, Super Typhoon Yutu slammed into the Northern Mariana Islands—the strongest storm on record ever to hit that Pacific territory. More than 50,000 people living there faced the heartbreaking impact of this storm. Residents of the island of Tinian and the southern villages of Saipan experienced sustained winds of 170 mph, with gusts of over 200 mph.

The eye of the storm passed directly over Tinian, and all 1,100 homes on the island were destroyed or greatly damaged by the extreme wind speeds. In addition to displacing tens of thousands of people, Yutu severely impacted the infrastructure of the islands, disrupting the availability of food and clean water, limiting safe shelter options, and creating logistical challenges for getting supplies and staff to the islands.

With the help of a longtime partner, the American Red Cross, LDS Charities was able to respond to this emergency. A clear part of our mission is to relieve suffering following natural disasters, civil unrest, or famine around the world. When local resources are strained or nonexistent, we provide short-term, life-sustaining resources such as food, water, shelter, and clothing, as well as medical, hygiene, and school supplies.

Despite the devastation caused by Super Typhoon Yutu, this disaster didn’t receive as much media attention as we felt it warranted. We knew that our involvement could fill a need that was underrepresented.

Saipan and the other Northern Mariana Islands are geographically isolated, so we needed help to provide resources to those in need. Our partnership with the American Red Cross provided us the means to respond to this emergency.

“We are so grateful to be able to partner with the American Red Cross office in Saipan to help those in need following this disaster,” said Elder William Davis, Area Seventy over Saipan. “We tried to respond to Typhoon Yutu as soon as we could and are grateful to be able to help those who

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