Hawaii residents concerned about Typhoon Haiyan impact

Hawaii residents concerned about Typhoon Haiyan impact

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The world's strongest typhoon of the year has slammed land with intensity. Experts believe damage from Typhoon Haiyan will be catastrophic. More than 100,000 people in the storm's path in the Philippines have already been evacuated. A similar typhoon that struck the Philippines in 1990 killed 700 people.

Computer models are saying Haiyan could produce severe storm surges up to 23 feet and surf of 50 feet along with up to a foot of rain. Flooding and landslides are the biggest threats. Winds were at 185 mph with gusts to 225.

Typhoon Haiyan is striking fear in the Filipino community here in Hawaii as the super storm is making an impact on the southern end of the country.

"It's scary. Just like a giant trying to suck people in," said Maria Etrata, Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii President.

Etrata says the Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii had already raised $4,500 after a major earthquake rocked the country a few weeks ago killing more than 160 people. The typhoon is expected to be an even bigger disaster.

"Hopefully it will not be too, too hard for us to open our hearts to them when they need the help after the storm is gone," said Etrata.

"Certainly it is a concern because anytime you have a natural disaster such as these, these areas are very hard hit," said Joey Manahan, Honolulu City Councilman.

Councilman Manahan is worried about loved ones in the path of the storm. He spoke with them at about 4:30 pm Hawaii time. They had already seen uprooted trees and pounding rain.

"I'm from Manila but the area the storm is going to pass over we have family roots and family living there in Cebu and in Bicol," said Manahan. "It's always difficult because power lines always go down, phone lines go down."

The Filipino community in Hawaii is already mobilizing. The Governor says he is tracking the storm as well.

"The Pacific Command is also aware of it so whether it's the United States military or the National Guard Air and Army and Reserves here in Hawaii or whether it's the people of Hawaii. We'll of course be supporting those that are hit by that typhoon in any way we can both from a practical side and in our hearts and minds," said Governor Neil Abercrombie.

The Filipino Chamber has called an emergency meeting to discuss relief efforts Thursday night at 6:15 to be held at Jesse's Bakery at 1101 N. King Street in Honolulu.

Haiyan is the fourth typhoon to hit them this season and it's the 24th cyclone to hit them this season. It should be out to sea by Friday of Hawaii time and then head to Vietnam and Laos.

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