Help the Philippines
The Filipino Association of Greater Kansas City is collaborating with relief agencies to help Filipinos affected by Typhoon Haiyan.
Information on how to donate money or necessities for the efforts can be found on the association’s website at filipino-association.org/typhoon.
Ray Arnado has confirmed that an aunt and cousin he lived with growing up in the Philippines survived Friday’s massive typhoon, though their home did not.
Arnado has not been able to reach other relatives who live in smaller villages near the hardest hit area.
“I hope they’re safe,” Arnado said. “I’m just praying.”
Since late last week, Arnado and other natives of the area hit by Typhoon Haiyan have been glued to news of what’s happening in their homeland and anxiously awaiting word on loved ones.
Arnado, a student at Kansas University’s Edwards Campus and an Overland Park resident, said his aunt and cousin live in Ormoc, located west of Tacloban on Leyte island. He’s been unable to contact them directly but has received updates from another relative who lives in Cebu, south of the storm’s strongest path.
Their roof is still standing but their home — and all of their neighbors’ homes — were destroyed, Arnado said. He said while things sounded more organized in Ormoc than Tacloban, his relatives and others there were without food, power and drinkable water.
Photos of the area look “like somebody harvested something,” Arnado said. “Just looking at the pictures I wonder, ‘How could they survive?’”
Marjorie Tirol of Lenexa, who works at Lawrence Memorial Hospital Therapy Services, said her parents and other relatives live on Panay island near Roxas, another of the hardest hit areas.
Tirol finally heard from them Monday night. Her brother’s home was destroyed, she said, but he and his children were staying with her parents, whose home was damaged but intact.
“I had been worrying since Friday,” she said. “There was no communication at all.”
Tirol said her family was able to drive 30 minutes to Roxas to purchase canned goods and that they will have to boil all their water. She said power in their area is out and may not be restored for months.
As soon as she’s sure it will get through, Tirol wants to send money to help them purchase a generator to get by.
“It will be time, but I’m just so glad they’re safe — that’s the most important thing,” she said. “It’s hard, but we will get through it. We just stay strong.”