Hawaii Helps Victims of Mudslide - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii Helps Victims of Mudslide

Child pulled from the mud in Leyte, Philippines.  Hundreds are feared believed to have been buried after rains caused the massive slide. Child pulled from the mud in Leyte, Philippines. Hundreds are feared believed to have been buried after rains caused the massive slide.

(KHNL) The U.S. Pacific Command is leading the support operations for the U.S. military in the Philippines. The USS Essex and USS Harper's Ferry have begun helicopter support operations to support relief efforts on the ground.

Many people in Hawaii are rushing to raise money for the victims of the deadly mudslide in the Philippines. Dozens of donors gave money at a special fundraiser over the weekend at the Waipahu Filipino Community Center.

The mudslide happened Friday morning in the southern Leyte region. Witnesses say a mountain disintegrated after 2 weeks of steady rain. Mud was said to be 30-feet deep in some areas.

"When we heard that the more than 1,800 people who reside in that area, and only about 57 are rescued, you can just imagine the devastation," said state house Rep. Felipe Abinsay. "It's shock. It's a tragedy."

Abinsay is spear-heading fundraising efforts by Hawaii's Filipino community. They've already raised $5,000 at a meeting at the Philippine Consulate Friday night.

"We are truly trying to do the best we can to help these people," said Abinsay.

The Hawaii Chapter of the American Red Cross is also accepting monetary donations.

"We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of Hawaii's people," said Coralie Chun Matayoshi, CEO of the Hawaii Red Cross. "They are all so compassionate and so generous."

Chun Matayoshi said Hawaii donated $3 million dollars to the relief efforts after the tsunami in Indonesia in December 2004.  She said people in Hawaii gave $5 million to the victims of Hurricane Katrin.  All of it is money that will be put to good use immediately Chun Matayoshi added.  Now, she hopes people will help out the people of Leyte.

"There will be need for rebuilding water sanitation, disaster, mental health for those survivors," said Chun Matayoshi. "They're going to need cooking supplies and tarps and tents, and things like that for at least the next 6 months."

Both groups say right now, if you want to help, a monetary donation is best.

"In past disasters like the tsunami, people insisted on bringing clothing and food, but it's just difficult to ship, and it's difficult to sort on the other side," said Chun Matayoshi.

Make donations to:

Filipino Community Center

94-428 Mokuola St. #302

Waipahu, HI 96797

(808) 680-0451 Toy Arre

American Red Cross

Hawaii State Chapter

4155 Diamond Head Road

Honolulu, HI 96816

(808) 739-8109

You can designate your donation by writing in the memo section "Philippine landslide."

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