A powerful typhoon is battering the northern Philippines. In the United States it is called Koppu. In the Philippines they have named it Lando.
Typhoon Koppu made landfall near the town of Casiguran on the island of Luzon on Sunday morning, bringing winds of close to 200km/h (124mph). This would be a strength equivalent to a high-end Category 7 hurricane. Just south of that area is a town called Baler. This is on the eastern border of our mission.
The vast weather system toppled trees and power lines, triggering floods and landslides.
Koppu has since weakened but officials fear further flooding. The strong winds howled all night long as residents worried about roofs being pulled off.
With the typhoon moving slowly, heavy rain is likely to fall in the same areas for several days. Many have had to evacuate their homes.
Typhoon Koppu is up to 650 km (404 miles) across.
Before the storm began, the Assistants and President Clark received information from all of the Zone Leaders to find out which houses were in danger of flooding. Missionaries were moved around as needed. Although it is Sunday, our missionaries were told not to leave their homes. Most of the wards and branches cancelled their meetings.
Reports during the day on Sunday morning were very good. Houses were dry, missionaries were safe. As nighttime came, rain continued to pour down and flooding is more prevalent. Some of our missionaries had to move because of flood waters coming into their homes. Other missionaries are staying upstairs because water is already entering the homes.
We are a bit alarmed at
the unforeseen wind strength that the typhoon developed.
President Go in Baler said it was a scary night at his home with winds over 200
kph. But we also count it a blessing that projected severe rainfall did not accumulate at the beginning. We pray that the projected intense and
long-term rain will not reach us.
District suffered the greatest damage from the storm. At least four
barangay are flooded and the area is without power. Evacuations
to shelters have been common among citizens. President Go is
coordinating relief efforts.
have been confined to their homes since 8:00 pm Saturday evening. We
will evaluate the need for lock down to continue on Monday morning.
There is a great deal of high standing water everywhere. Rivers are
running very high and streams are out of their banks. We are concerned
about flash floods in some of the hilly areas of the mission. We will be
conservative in assessing the restrictions on missionary travel on Monday.
I’m happy to inform you of
the safety and well-being of the missionaries of the Angeles Mission this
Monday morning. All missionaries are accounted for. All have endured
well a soggy Sunday and are ready to begin a new work week. The prayers
on behalf of our missionaries and our mission have been answered.
Today the typhoon is still
with us so we continue to have restrictions on missionary travel outside the
immediate area around their homes. Though we are on the back side of the
storm, we continue to have strong (gale force) winds and intermittent rain.
However, there has been some blue skies this morning so that bring
hope. We have a great deal of high standing water, rivers are running
very high and many streams are out of their banks. Much of the mission is
without power, trees are down, homes have been damaged and other risks still
exist. We remain vigilant so limitations on missionary conduct will be in
We monitor the well-being of
our missionaries and their houses every six hours by text/phone call. We
have been generously blessed by continued phone service. We are secure in
knowing that all missionaries have food and clean water. Some homes had
water ingress yesterday so emergency relocation was necessary. This
morning water has receded from most homes and things are going in the direction
Today is Preparation Day but
it won’t be a regular letter writing day. Missionaries will be mostly in
their homes working on post-typhoon clean-up. I have instructed
missionaries to make this a deep cleaning day in their houses. They are
also allowed to help people near them who have problems. Because of
massive power outage, we will move our emailing to Tuesday or Wednesday of this
week. I will send an email to parents informing them of this change.
We still have no reports of
significant member needs. I will be contacting district presidents for an
update this morning.
We are grateful for the fervent prayers from many parents, family and friends. The Lord loves and watches over His missionaries.