Local Filipino Community Involved in Storm Relief Efforts - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Local Filipino Community Involved in Storm Relief Efforts

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CORPUS CHRISTI (Kiii News) -

Relief and recovery efforts continue in the Philippines in the wake of Friday's landfall of Super Typhoon Haiyan.

At last report, the official death toll was just over 1,700 people, but most observers expect that to rise to well above 10,000.

Local residents who have loved ones living in the Philippines are hoping for the best, but they fear the worst. Many at this point simply do not know how last week's typhoon has affected their relatives because communication is still down.

In the meantime, the Filipino community in South Texas is coming together to raise funds for those in need.

"They need help. The first immediate help is water and food," said Lel Arandela, president of the Coastal Bend Filipino American Association, a close-knit community with strong ties to the island nation. "All our members are in the medical profession -- doctors, nurses, physical therapists -- whose families are living in the hard hit areas, like Layton, Becaw and the central part of the Philippines."

Another strong connection are the 14 members of the Sisters of Saint Dominic, an order of nuns all from the Philippines based at the Holy Rosary Church.

"Of course we are praying for them and hopefully they can get out," Sister Esperanza Seguban said. "They can recover from this situation."

The Filipino community is hoping Coastal Bend residents will help them help their loved ones back home.

For Sister Eliza Santiago, her sister-in-law and her children survived the devastation, escaping the tidal surge by climbing on top of stacked furniture.

The local Filipino Association has set up four drop off locations throughout Corpus Christi: the Asian Market on the 4100 block of SPID; His and Hers Tailoring at the Village Shopping Center on Alameda; the Taiwan Restaurant in Moore Plaza; and the Little Manila Lumpia House in Flour Bluff.

There are many to choose from, but the local effort, the association says, is personal.

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