SEPTEMBER 24, 2018
Over the course of several days, Typhoon Mangkhut wreaked havoc in the western Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea. The following reports are from the respective branch offices caring for our brothers and sisters who have been affected by this disaster.
Micronesia: Typhoon Mangkhut hit Rota, one of the Northern Mariana Islands, on September 10, 2018. It is the strongest storm to hit Rota since 2002. We are happy to report that no brothers were injured and there was no damage to the only Kingdom Hall on the island. One brother has been temporarily relocated until his home can be repaired. The circuit overseer has since visited the island to provide encouragement.
Philippines: On September 15, 2018, Typhoon Mangkhut (locally known as “Ompong”) made landfall in Baggao, in the province of Cagayan, Philippines. Mangkhut is the most powerful storm to strike the Philippines this year. The growing death toll has reached 81.
Sadly, as a result of Mangkhut, one sister from Benguet was killed and four brothers were injured. Initial reports indicate that 938 homes of our brothers were damaged and 15 were totally destroyed. At least 28 Kingdom Halls have been damaged, one of which was almost completely consumed by a landslide. Four Disaster Relief Committees (DRCs), based in Baguio, Cauayan, Laoag, and Tuguegarao, are caring for the ongoing physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of our brothers and sisters. In the coming days, a member of the Branch Committee will be visiting the brothers to offer encouragement.
Hong Kong: Mangkhut made landfall in Hong Kong on September 16, 2018. It caused minimal damage to the branch office and an apartment complex used to house the Bethel family. Two homes owned by Witnesses sustained major damage. One home was damaged by a falling tree and another by high winds that blew off the roof. A few other homes sustained water damage. A DRC in Hong Kong is caring for the immediate needs of the brothers.
Our thoughts and prayers are with our brothers and sisters who have been affected by Typhoon Mangkhut. We take comfort in knowing that our fellow worshippers are lovingly providing assistance to our brothers in need. Our united spiritual family is truly a blessing from Jehovah.—Proverbs 17:17.