Venerable Thich Dao Quang and the group was in Biloxi to celebrate Vu lan, a festival of Vietnamese origin which combines Mother's Day and All Souls Day on August 26, 2005. It was reported that when Katrina stuck in Biloxi, devotees in California were not able to make contact neither with the temple there or the group.
According to the pilgrims, the temple's attic in Biloxi, was turned into a shelter where several dozen Vietnamese and American lives were saved.
Describing the survival as a miracle, Venerable Thich Dao Quang shared the story of faith and and non-stop prayers by the pilgrimage group, consisting mostly of the elderly, during the storm with had high waves attacking the temple all night.
While most of the buildings and casinos surrounding the temple were uprooted, the statue to Quan Am (Guan Yin or Avaloketesvara, the Goddess of Mercy) and the temple did not collapse.
When asked about the mayhem, looting and suffering that is being experienced in the Gulf coast area, Venerable Thich Dao Quang advised all to be calm and simply wished that "May compassion conquer all hatred".