Expat Filipinos struggle to get word from their loved ones

Published:  11 Nov at 6 PM
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Filipino expats and US/UK citizens with friends and relatives living in the typhoon-devastated areas are struggling without news as the communications blackout continues.

The devastating storm, one of the strongest the modern world has seen, laid waste to popular beachside areas in Cebu as well as other more remote ecotourism destination islands popular with visitors. The worst-hit was the Visayas archipelago, home to a number of beach communities popular with retirees.

The Filipino community worldwide is taking part in prayer vigils and organising cash donations as well as setting up counselling for those who have lost family members in the disaster. In New York’s Little Manila district, all TVs in the restaurants are tuned to news programmes, with many of those watching still unable to contact their loved ones.

With the number of those dead now heading over 10,000 and rising, the tragedy is now of world proportions, with every Flilipino community across the world banding together to support and help the bereaved and the many thousands who have lost their homes and livelihoods. Church collections are being taken up all over America’s big cities and, in Hong Kong and Singapore, grassroots community workers are calling for aid.

For US and European citizens fearing for family members or friends, there’s not much to do except to keep trying to make contact. International aid is being rushed to the affected areas, but is often blocked by debris from the storm, and there are no predictions as to when communications will be restored to the most devastated regions.
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