Friday, October 16, 2015

Typhoon Koopu Update

October 16, 2015
To the Families of Philippines Angeles Missionaries:

Most of you are aware there is a tropical typhoon LANDO (KOPPU) heading towards the Philippines. The storm is being closely monitored by the Church’s Philippines Area Office with regular bulletins to Mission Presidents. Currently the storm is tracking a path taking it over northern Luzon, impacting all of the Philippines Angeles Mission. The storm is forecast to make landfall this weekend in northern Aurora province after it traverses across the eastern part of the Philippine Sea.

Government weather forecaster say the typhoon is now packing winds of 130 kilometers (81 miles) per hour with gusts up to 160 kph (99 mph). As LANDO moves closer to land its winds will likely intensify to 185 kph (115 mph). It is expected to hit land early Sunday morning, and could linger in the country for several days, dumping heavy rains. We anticipate the storm will bring heavy rains (30 mm to 50 mm) and moderate to strong winds (gusts of up to 100 kph) as it passes over the island. Areas of the western side and southern side of the mission will have lesser rain and wind. Typhoons can be unpredictable and a sudden change of course may happen. We are watching closely to assure that we can react appropriately should the storm turn or suddenly strengthen.

Precautions have already been taken to protect our missionaries. Missionary preparations include checking and stocking their 72 hour kits, having emergency cash in hand, keeping their cell phones charged and staying away from flash flood prone areas and high standing water. Your missionary has been alerted to prepare for the storm in his/her specific area. Missionaries in low lying areas on the eastern coast of Luzon (Baler and Dingalan) have already been evacuated far inland to much higher ground and safer housing. All missionaries will be restricted to their secure houses while the storm presents the greatest risk. They know to stay in communication with mission leaders and report any situation they deem threatening.

Know that great vigilance is being exercised to protect missionaries and members in the Angeles Mission. We are prayerful and faith filled, knowing that God watches over us. Thank you for your prayers. We will send similar communication to you over the next 72 hours as the situation changes and circumstances permit. Once the storm has passed all missionaries will be accounted for. We will then provide follow-up communication to you.

President Scott Clark

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