CREATED Nov. 10, 2013
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- With phone lines down and massive power outages in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, many local Filipinos are having trouble contacting family members to find out if they are okay.
"The concern is so great, especially for folks who have relatives in Tacloban. Tacloban is a city now that is wiped out," Feed the Hungry gift-giving co-chair Gloria Caoile said.
With estimates of up to ten thousand people killed in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, many Filipino-Americans are scrambling to get as much information as they can about family and friends still living in the Philippines.
"No electricity, no communications, the satelittes are down. But we have hope that the damage has stopped and that it won't be as grave as it is," Caoile said.
With many of the cities devastated by the typhoon still inaccessible by road, many are having to rely on word of mouth to get information their loved ones.
"I contacted my nephew who lives in Arizona who says the family is okay," Ben Veloso said.
Some are even turning to services like Google’s Person Finder.
As some are still looking for information about their family, others are looking for ways to help.
"There are small groups of doctors and nurses that want to fly back there to help," Eillane Guevarra said.
That's one of the reasons local Filipino community groups are working to organize their efforts to try and help the biggest number of people.
Some, like Feed the Hungry already have a number of representatives on the ground in Manila waiting to get a look at some of the most remote communities.
"We want to assess the damage and figure out where it is best to help," Caoile said.
In an effort to coordinate their efforts and to make sure they are moving in the same direction, many of the groups are planning to meet at 6 p.m. Monday at the Aloha Kitchen on Decatur to discuss their fundraising and relief efforts.