HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii's Filipino community is tracking the news about the powerful typhoon that just slammed into the Philippines. Callers shared their concerns about the devastation on the airwaves at KNDI's radio station. Host Edna Butay has been closely following the development coming out of the country.
"Even as I was talking to my callers, I just get chills and it breaks my heart to see that," said Butay. "That's the country that I came from and we're heartbroken."
Some regions are still cut off with power and communications severely disrupted. The Philippine Consulate in Honolulu has already received calls from anxious people trying to reach their relatives.
"We expect communications to be up and restored in a matter of two days, so then we'll have the full extent of the damage done and perhaps we'll have some news about relatives," said Consul General Julius Torres.
The head of a Hawaii organization that helps needy families in the Philippines arrived in Manila on Thursday night. The storm missed the capital, but he is worried about the hard-hit areas.
"We're going to be in contact with our partners and our friends in those areas to see what kind of damage has been done, and we're just hoping and praying that they're okay," said Jon Matsuoka, CEO of the Consuelo Foundation.
The country is still recovering from another strong typhoon in August and a powerful earthquake a few weeks ago. Filipino families in Hawaii are now ready to lend a helping hand again.
"Filipinos here in Hawaii always send help, monetary-wise and material-wise," said Butay.
"The Filipino-Americans here in Hawaii have been so blessed, and to share our blessings with those less fortunate, the victims of the calamities," said Torres.
The American Red Cross is accepting donations. Write "Philippine Typhoon" in the memo line of the check. The Filipino Community Center in Waipahu is also working on fundraising plans.