By Leland Kim
AIEA (KHNL) - More than two months after a typhoon ravaged the Philippines, the body count has grown close to a thousand and almost 200,000 others remain homeless. As a local chapter of the Rotary Club reaches out, the tragedy hits too close to home for an Aiea couple.
Devastation mile after mile. Typhoon Reming nearly wiped out the Philippines' Albay province. Cynthia Allison is from that region and saw the aftermath first-hand.
"You could see mud, just black desert around the community," said Dr. Cynthia Allison, who worked as a physician in the Philippines. "And the houses that used to be there, are not there."
It's nothing like anything she's seen before.
"I just couldn't image it," she said. "It was completely unbelievable, really unbelievable."
Cynthia's husband Jerry also knows the area. The two attended med school in the Philippines.
"The whole city was paralyzed for several weeks," said Dr. Jerry Allison. "There was no power, there was no fresh water for several weeks."
And parts of the region were eight-feet deep in water.
"So any business that was on the first level of the city," he said. "Can you imagine Honolulu buried to eight feet, what would happen?"
More than 1,600 are still missing, but the actual number could be higher.
"Right now there's no accurate list because people are not reporting because the entire family is likely wiped out," said Cynthia Allison.
She hopes the world takes notice, and helps her hometown.
"I hope that it would go back to what it used to be, just a beautiful, peaceful place," said Cynthia Allison. "Everybody is friendly and warm, just like Hawaii."
An Aiea couple hoping Hawaii's aloha spirit reaches across the Pacific.