The Red Cross in the Philippines believes at least 1200 people have been killed there by Typhoon Haiyan. The devastating storm has many here in the Lower Mainland worrying about loved ones and wondering what they can do to help.
Typhoon Haiyan is being called one of the strongest typhoons on record, and the Philippine authorities said they were expecting a “very high number of fatalities.” There are reports communications, power, and water systems all are down.
A service was held at the Vancouver Filipino 7th day Adventist church this morning to pray for family members and friends caught up in the storm.
“Right now it is very hard to communicate with our loved ones back home, because the communication is down. We just rely on media for whatever report we can see,” says Ed Flores with the church.
“Most of my family is there where the typhoon path is. The last time I heard from them was just when the typhoon hit. I have not heard from them today. I am worrying, I am praying for them and I hope that all of them are ok,” Johanna Trinidad told Global News.
Vancouver mayor’s office issued a statement this afternoon saying they extend their condolences to the people of the Philippines and all those who have lost loved ones in Typhoon Haiyan.
“Many Vancouver residents have deep connections to the Philippines and to the Visayas region. To everyone impacted by the typhoon, we send our thoughts and prayers as they struggle to cope with the devastating effects of this unprecedented natural disaster.”
B.C. premier Christy Clark has also issued a statement calling images and reports coming from the Philippines heartbreaking.
“The entire country has a difficult time ahead, as authorities struggle to assess the full extent of casualties and damage, and tend to those left homeless,” said the Premier. “Our prayers go out to the victims, all those British Columbians with family and friends in the storm’s path, and everyone else in the country as they cope.”
Friends and relatives in Canada concerned for Canadian citizens they believe to be in the affected area should contact Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa by calling toll-free 1-800-387-3124 or 613-996-8885 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To donate, go to the Canadian Red Cross web site for information. You can donate online, at your local Red Cross office or by calling 1-800-418-1111.
With files from Jennifer Palma