El Paso Filipino Americans try to contact family impacted by Typhoon Haiyan

El Paso Filipino Americans try to contact family impacted by Typhoon Haiyan

POSTED: Sunday, November 10, 2013 - 10:15pm

UPDATED: Monday, November 11, 2013 - 2:03pm

For hundreds of Filipino-American families in the Borderland -- all they can do is watch and wait for news of how their loved ones are doing after Typhoon Haiyan leaves the Philippines devastated.

Haiyan barreled through the Philippines on Friday with winds that gusted to 170 miles an hour and a massive storm surge. Sunday, residents are picking through the rubble in coastal towns looking for victims.

There's fear the typhoon killed as many as 10,000 people in just one city alone. Officials are calling it the deadliest natural disaster in the nation's history.

On Sunday, the only connection Rosemarie Estavas has to her sister, mother, and brother in the Philippines is Philippine news. “I tried this morning, early this morning, I tried again and again and again. No cell site. No power,” Estavas answered after we asked her if she spoke with her family.

Typhoon Haiyan, or Yolanda, has devastated Rosemarie's hometown and neighboring areas - killing thousands. "I'm feeling sad because the whole town is 90-percent devastated,” she said, "The whole coastal barrios is like a ghost one because the homes were just thrown just like sticks."

The East El Pasoan tells us the second story of her childhood home - gone."I'm just praying that everyone is ok." Rosemarie says she was able to contact her sister Saturday morning. While they're ok, She said, they lost almost everything.

"Even my own brother was living in the shelter, in the Civic Center because his house was totally destroyed, too."

Rosemarie's extended family is doing everything they can to help the victims. "Our church, is you know, collecting any donations that we could have."

Pastor Junar Lasala of Heart for the World Fil-Am church in East El Paso is collecting donations to help those impacted by Yolanda. "We can do something from this side of the, you know, the world, you know, to help people over there,” Pastor Junar Lasala explained.

Rosemarie sits by her phone, patiently, waiting for a signal. Also, reminding herself to count her blessings.

"I hope they're ok. And I hope they could be a blessing to the people who doesn't have a house at least they still have the first floor left."

The church has teamed up with maharlika grocery store. If you'd like to donate to victims of Typhoon Haiyan, you can drop off non-perishable items or cash at the church on 3620 Wooster Lane or at Maharlika Convenience store on 1580 George Dieter. Checks can be made out to HFTW Fil-Am Church and donations are tax deductible.
For more information, you can contact Heart for the World Fil-am Church at (915) 539-3549 or (915) 539-3517, or email them at hftwfilam_elpaso@yahoo.com

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