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

Revelstoke man who sexually assaulted drunk woman sentenced to 18 months house arrest

For the first nine months he cannot leave his home between 2 p.m. and 11 a.m. except for work

Clearing today in Revelstoke

High three degrees

Live music and harm reduction scheduled for Welcome Week

Pender Street Steppers will be playing Traverse on Nov. 28

Revelstokians trying to make a difference with Mindful Mondays

Locals invite you to make changes to reduce your carbon footprint starting one day a week

VIDEO: Ron MacLean says he doesn’t believe former co-host Don Cherry is racist

Sportsnet fired Cherry on Nov. 11, two days after controversial on-air comments during ‘Coach’s Corner’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveils new Liberal cabinet

Pivotal role in his new cabinet for a minority-government era goes to Chrystia Freeland

Osoyoos driver admits being ‘drunk’ after crashing into pole

A 52-year-old Osoyoos man admits being drunk after hitting power pole

Vigilantes sentenced to two years jail after invading alleged Hedley drug house

Two men were sentenced to two years in federal prison November 12,… Continue reading

B.C. mom, kids on bike turned away from Tim Hortons drive-thru

Car-free for years, Charity Millar ‘felt gross’ being denied service

Murdered Penticton woman’s family feeling ‘fear and outrage’

Relatives of Lynn Kalmring struggling to come to terms with decision to grant leave to her killer

B.C. woman puts call out for 10,000 personal, heartfelt Christmas cards for the homeless

Christmas Card Collective enters into third year of making spirits bright

Women remembered at candlelight vigil in North Okanagan

Polytechnique film shown at Okanagan College Dec. 4

Most Read