HOUSTON, TX – Hour by hour, news from the Philippines keeps getting worse. As many as 10,000 dead. Nearly the entire city of Tacloban wiped out and powerless. Meteorologists say the winds reached as high 147 m.p.h. while 45-foot waves pounded buildings.
It’s the type of devastation that’s felt the world over; especially here in Houston.
“We have cousins there, some of our relatives from my mom’s side, from my dad’s side,” says Nelvin Celeste.
At the Best of Filipiniana restaurant on Bissonnet, donations are already being taken.
“It’s really heartbreaking to hear stories about what happened; the images that we see that the typhoon has brought us, it really breaks everyone’s heart,” restaurant owner Mirinda Borbon explains.
Harder, still, is waiting for news.
“There is no communication whatsoever,” Greta Amparo tells us. “There is no power over there.”
Across town, more donations. At the Filtex Filipino grocery store on Beechnut, the news hits close to home.
“There are people coming in and they said they are affected too, their families,” manager Randy Datu says.
As the search for survivors continues, the death toll grows and more and more is needed.
“Clothing, baby clothes, adult clothes, anything, toiletries, soaps, shampoos, whatever,” Greta Ampara says.
And for many here, there is nothing they can do but sit and wait.
“We’re really praying,” Nelvin Celeste adds. “We’re praying that hearts of compassion will just rise up from the people as far as people that may not be effected by the disaster but have access and resources for communication, internet. We’re also praying for wisdom.”