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BRIDGETON, MO (KTVI) – Members of the Kirkwood-based Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod are heading out Friday morning to help those devastated by the typhoon in the Philippines.

A total of eight members from the Synod Disaster Response Team are making their way overseas. Five of them will be leaving from Lambert.

Typhoon Haiyan was one of the strongest storms ever. It tore through the Philippines one week ago.

The latest official death toll is approaching 2,400. But the United Nations puts that number considerably higher at over 4,400 and those numbers could still rise.

The Lutheran Church members will provide immediate relief and begin planning for the long term recovery of the region.

The team is going to operate out of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod office in Manila and will make trips from there into the impacted areas.

The team is scheduled to return next Friday.

The disaster response branch of the Synod has responded to many disasters since its inception after Hurricane Katrina.