Central VA relief efforts reach victims in Philippines

Published: Nov. 11, 2013 at 5:32 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 21, 2013 at 6:17 AM EST
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Catastrophic destruction left by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines has left as many as 10,000 feared dead.

Coastal towns and the regional capital are devastated by huge waves. The super typhoon has destroyed about 70 to 80 percent of the area in its path, according to officials.

Survivors are doing all they can to tell loved-ones they're alive, leaving handwritten notes, in the hopes they'll be seen by the right people.

People in the Richmond area, and across the country, are still trying to make contact with their loved-ones.

"My brother's house is in Ormoc, where the typhoon actually hit…The last we spoke to (her sister-in-law), the water was up to her waist," said Edievith Pollard of Richmond, who has only spoken to her brother and his wife once, since the typhoon swept through their island.

Pollard's brother's concrete home was the only one left standing in the village. Now, Edievith says 90 people are staying in the home, stranded with nothing.

"Medicine,  food and water.... whatever you have left, that's all that you have," explained Pollard.

A Henrico-based relief organization, ChildFund International, has crews on the ground in the Philippines. The relief organization has aided the Philippines for nearly 60 years. ChildFund crews are working to help victims now.

"It's a sea of complete devastation," said Julien Anseau by telephone, as he was about to board a ship transporting supplies.

ChildFund especially focuses on children, many who are now orphans.

"Children walking the streets...They've lost loved ones, families, parents. They're traumatized. They're hungry. They're thirsty. It's a desperate situation," described Anseau. ChildFund staffers are boating water, food and medical supplies to different islands. "The airport is destroyed. Houses are completely destroyed. Big waves came in land and took away a lot of houses."

Loved-ones in the states are doing all they can to help, sending what money they can, along with constant prayers.

Both the ChildFund and family of Edievith Pollard, which is  housing dozens of people, are accepting any help or donations possible.

Meanwhile, if you are trying to learn more about loved ones in the affected areas, call the U.S. State Department at 1-888-407-4747.

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