News Release

The Church of Jesus Christ Responds to Earthquake in Haiti

They organize an emergency committee and report that the missionaries are safe. They evaluate the impact and needs to provide aid.

On the morning of Saturday, August 14, 2021, at 8:30 a.m., an earthquake of magnitude 7.2 struck the southern part of Haiti. Local leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints assessed the situation of members, missionaries, Church buildings, and the community following the devastating earthquake that to date has claimed the lives of more than 300 people and a much greater number of injured.

President Gethro Nerosil of the Haiti Port-au-Prince Mission reported that all missionaries are safe and that those who were in the most affected areas have been relocated to be with other missionaries in safe areas.

Hundreds of homes, including the homes of Church members inspected so far, are severely damaged. Some members have received medical attention for mild to severe injuries sustained during the collapse of their homes or other structures they were in at the time of the quake. Many have decided to spend the night away from their homes for fear of the numerous aftershocks of up to 5.6 on the Richter scale that have been verified in the last few hours.

The official buildings of the Church are reported in good condition. However, a wall of the premises rented by the Church in Les Cayes collapsed as a result of the earthquake, while other rental buildings have also suffered significant structural damage. The Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple and its adjoining building are in perfect condition and will continue to provide services within the conditions of the one-month state of emergency declared by the Haitian government.

It's a difficult situation for Haiti, yet for Elder Paul H. Jean Baptiste of the Seventy, hope is still there. “It is something very strong for everyone, of course, but we can hold on and draw closer to the Lord. Suffering breeds humility through prayer. The idea is to understand that there is a purpose. He knows everything that happens to us. As President Russell M. Nelson has said, "Faith empowers us to do things that seem impossible to us," the Elder declared.

Under the direction of the Caribbean Area Presidency, Elders Hubermann Bien-Aimé and Paul H. Jean Baptiste have organized an emergency committee comprised of Gethro Nerosil, president of the Haiti Port-au-Prince Mission; Mackenson Noel, Welfare and Self-Reliance Manager; Evens Jeudy, manager of the Bishops’ Storehouse, and two district presidents. This committee will be in charge of monitoring and managing the situation and, through the Department of Welfare, timely responses to the needs detected.

Welfare and Self-Reliance Manager, Mackenson Noel, said a first installment was approved to provide aid to Church members and affected communities, including food, water and tents. The Red Cross, Rotary Club International, and Church leaders will ensure the distribution of the aid.

Church leaders will continue to assess the situation of members, missionaries, chapels, and the community to arrange the necessary help and response. The Caribbean Area Presidency has expressed its solidarity and invites all people of good will to pray and be attentive to opportunities to serve the people of Haiti.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.