Filipinos in Hawaii on edge as monster storm hits Philippines

Published On: Dec 24 2013 10:23:28 AM HST   Updated On: Nov 08 2013 07:59:50 PM HST

Thousands in Hawaii were terrified for their loved ones in the Philippines on Thursday as what could be the strongest storm ever hits the island nation.

Super Typhoon Haiyan is the same as a Category 5 hurricane.

Click here to watch Justin Fujioka's report.

It's being called Yolanda in the Philippines, and could wind up as the strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall in recorded history.

The news is troubling for Hawaii's Filipino community.

Elena Puesta, who moved to Hawaii from the Philippines 29 years ago, said, "I feel so bad because you know, since I came here, I think this is the worst typhoon that they have."

A man with Hawaii ties in the Philippines said everyone seems prepared, more so than ever.

"Two, three days ago, you know local officials, and army and police were already evacuating residents from high-risk areas and bringing them to safer ground and convention centers," said Danny Urquico.

Central Philippines was right in the bull's-eye. It's the same area rocked by a major earthquake last month.

Honolulu's Philippines Consul General said on Thursday that if you're having a hard time contacting family and friends, to contact its office.

"They can communicate with us and we will communicate with our local authorities and our National Disaster Risk (Reduction and) Management Council and inform them if we have information," said Julius Torres, Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu. "We can share with them about their relatives back in the Philippines."

Torres said Filipinos need all the help they can get right now from friends and relatives in Hawaii.

"Prayers will be very helpful and we know that approaching Christmas, we need to share some of our Christmas joys with the victims of the calamities," he said.

Torres said the Pacific Command has already offered its assistance in rescue, recovery and relief and that his office is working with several organizations for fundraising events in Hawaii.


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