An aerial view shows damaged houses on a coastal community

Revelstoke’s Filipino community thoughts back home after Typhoon Haiyan

Revelstoke's Filipino community watching news intently after massive typhoon destroys large part of Philippines.

Revelstoke’s small Filipino community has been watching the news intently the last few days ever since a massive typhoon destroyed a large portion of the country last Friday.

“I feel lucky. I talked to my wife – we feel thankful no one was hurt in our family. I feel thankful because I’m in Canada now,” said Gengy Detorres. “I cried when I see the news. Could you imagine being without food, without home, without water. You feel hopeless.”

The official death toll for Typhoon Haiyan was about 1,000 as of press time, but officials in the Philippines feared it was much higher – at least 10,000, and likely more.

The super typhoon – regarded as one of the strongest storms ever recorded –made landfall in the central Philippines early Friday morning, with winds of up to 379 kilometres per hour. It brought with it 15 metre high waves and up to 400 millimetres of rain.

According to news reports, about nine million people have been affected by the typhoon, and hundreds of thousands have been displaced. Entire cities have been destroyed. A news release by the Philippines branch of the Red Cross laid out the extent of the devastation and the challenges being faced to provide aid.

“This area has been totally ravaged”, said Sebastien Sujobert, head of the ICRC office in Tacloban, one of the hardest hit cities. “Many lives were lost, a huge number of people are missing, and basic services such as drinking water and electricity have been cut off.”

There was also, he said, extensive damage to other infrastructure, and communication was difficult for those working to aid the stricken population. Both the Philippine Red Cross and the ICRC offices in Tacloban had been damaged, forcing staff to relocate temporarily. “To make matters worse, the security situation is tense. People here need every type of aid.”

On Monday, Philippine President Benigno Aquino declared a state of national calamity.

Revelstoke’s Filipino community largely came here as Temporary Foreign Workers to work at fast food restaurants like Tim Horton’s and A&W. Many have stayed in the community.

Laarni Iaccino moved here three years ago and is now married into a Revelstoke family.

She said her family in Cebu was OK. She spoke to her family a few days after the storm, when power was returned to their home.

A sign of the strength of the storm was that several trees on her family farm that had survived other typhoons were uprooted. Fortunately, that is the worst that happened to her family.

“It’s really sad. We just had the earthquake, and then there’s another typhoon,” she said. “People haven’t recovered yet, and there’s another calamity coming. It’s too much for them.”

Just Posted

Skier dies at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Cause of death has not been released

Readers weigh in: Should shock collars on dogs be banned?

We asked and you had a lot to say. Here’s some of what

Arrest made in Kamloops kidnapping case

Robert James Rennie was located and arrested Feb. 21 by the Penticton RCMP

Okanagan home to 2 of the best North American lake towns

TripAdvisor gives a nod to Kelowna and Osoyoos

Fashion Fridays: Must have wardrobe basics

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

UPDATE: Highway 97A reopened north of Vernon

Three people are in hospital following crash that has one in critical condition

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Parole angers parents of Okanagan manslaughter victim

Tal Kalum LaRiviere was arrested in Alberta Feb. 18. He had previously been granted day parole

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

School district facing capacity challenges

Rising enrolment, outdated data and classroom changes prompt discussions

More sailings coming to 10 BC Ferries’ routes

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said the sailings were originally cut in 2014

Letter: Distraught society swayed by distraction

The United States is embroiled in the Trump catastrophe and the United… Continue reading

Most Read