News Release

Amid Constant Earthquakes, Volunteers from the Church Continue to Help Those Affected

Through Family Services, the Church of Jesus Christ has begun to provide emotional assistance, which in many cases is greater than the material needs.

Cities of southern Puerto Rico are still in a state of emergency due to the earthquakes that have been taking place. After a slight calm on Tuesday, several tremors, including one of 5.2 magnitude, were felt this Wednesday at 11:36 am, increasing tension and keeping thousands of inhabitants of Yauco, Guánica, Guayanilla, Peñuelas and Ponce in panic and uncertainty. They are reluctant to return to their homes due to continued tremors.


Under such conditions, leaders, missionaries and volunteers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, coordinate and distribute hygiene kits, food, water, bedding, children's beds, sleeping bags and tents. In addition, they help to assemble tents for those affected who continue to sleep outside their homes for fear that they may collapse. They have also visited the Guayanilla Indians, where there are 46 families on the hill.

Frankie Ruiz, president of the Ponce Stake (similar to a diocese) and coordinator of the emergency committee of the Church in the area, referred to the impact that these actions have on the people affected.

“We have been able to experience immense joy by being very close with those affected and extending them a helping and supportive hand. Seeing their faces of hope despite the difficulties of the moment, pays back all the effort we make in exemplifying the life of the Savior Jesus Christ through the joint actions of help and comfort by hundreds of volunteers. Prayers of faith are receiving answers,” said President Ruiz.

Through Family Services, the Church has begun to offer mental health counseling by psychologists and therapists. They recommend starting group therapy sessions for those most affected. These professionals have already dealt with six cases and it is expected that this Wednesday afternoon there will be a meeting to integrate other experts for emotional assistance.

Although the buildings of the Church have not suffered significant damage because of the earthquakes, meetings during weekdays in the chapels in this part of the island have been suspended. Only sacrament meetings on Sundays will be held until further notice.

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