Social media offers link for families as deadly typhoon hits

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) — Super Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest and largest storms ever recorded, is impacting families all over the world, including Central Virginia.

The category five storm has killed at least four people have been killed, but experts warn that the death toll could climb higher as thousands flee from their homes to evacuation centers.

Relatives of those in the storm’s path are also being affected.

“I’ve been checking on them since last night,” said Myrisa Nadal, whose family lives in the Philippines. “And I didn’t get any sleep at all,”

Nadal said Super Typhoon Haiyan is impacting the area just weeks after a powerful earthquake damaged parts of the country.

Now, the powerful storm is pounding the Central Philippines.

“We don’t have communications to our relatives, so that’s tough at the moment,” said Enrico Pobre.

Worried family members said social media has been their only mode of contact. As they watch the eye of the storm move through that Asian country right into the neighborhood where they grew up.

“Scared and nervous about what happened — and my mom’s house is really flooded right now,” said Nadal.

The storm’s impact has left flooded streets with many people in the dark. But some areas have seen widespread devastation.

“The government is actually doing a very good job in giving warnings to the Filipinos now,” said Pobre.

That’s because the Philippines is no stranger to typhoons, and other natural disasters, like an earthquake that struck two weeks ago. And with two calamities happening weeks a part, government relief funds have dried up.

That’s why these families are working with the Red Cross to help raise money.

“Filipinos are resilient. That kind of stuff doesn’t melt us all down,” said Pobre. “I know my family is going to be ok… It’s just you when to start it again is just so tough.”

As a result, organizers of Q5 Image are holding the “Help the Flood Victims of Typhoon Maring.”

The event will be held on Saturday, Nov. 9 at Philippine Cultural Center, which is located at 4857 Baxter Road in Virginia Beach.

Doors open at 6 p.m. General Admission is $50 and VIP is $75. Dress Code is semi-formal attire.

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