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Filipino community fearing for loved ones after deadly storm

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Filipinos in Bermuda were yesterday waiting for word from friends and family as a massive typhoon roared over the Philippines.

Super Typhoon Haiyan made landfall in the Eastern Visayas early yesterday morning with sustained winds of 315kph (195mph) and gusts reaching 380kph (235mph) — well above the threshold of a Category 5 storm.

It also brought waves as high as 15m (45ft) and as much as 15.75in of rain.

According to the BBC, there were reports flash floods, landslides and building being torn apart. Schools and offices in the region were closed, while ferry services and local flights were suspended.

As of last night, the storm is expected to continue travelling north west, hitting Vietnam today.

Vice president of the Association of Filipinos in Bermuda (AFB), Rowena Comber said yesterday morning that she had already heard reports of several deaths caused by the storm, and she remained concerned for the safety of others in the region.

“I just called my parents and they are okay,” Mrs Comber said. “They are in the northern part of the country, but we are still worried about the people in the south. We have friends from there and everything is shut down. They don't have any contact with their friends there.

“So far I believe our government has made all efforts to prevent any loss of life, and we are doing our best here in Bermuda to help those who will be affected by it by raising funds for them.”

AFB advisor Sonia Laudermilk noted that the storm hit just a short distance away from the island of Bohil, which was devastated last month by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake that killed 222 people and displaced more than 350,000.

“It's almost the same place. It's just a ferry ride away,” she said. “This storm is one of the biggest to hit, so we are really, really worried about the possible damage and the loss of life.”

As of press time last night at least four people have been confirmed dead due to the storm, but there was still very little information from some areas of the region such as Negros and Iloilo.

The association will be hosting a fundraising luncheon on Monday at noon at St Theresa's Church Hall, with money raised going toward the victims of the typhoon and last month's earthquake.

Debris litters the road by the coastal village in Legazpi city following a storm surge brought about by powerful Typhoon Haiyan in Albay province, about 325 miles south of Manila, Philippines. The strongest typhoon of this year, it set off landslides and knocked out power and communication lines in several provinces. (AP Photo/Nelson Salting)
Huge waves brought about by Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded to have slammed into the Philippines. (AP Photo/Nelson Salting)

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Published November 08, 2013 at 11:22 am (Updated November 08, 2013 at 8:22 pm)

Filipino community fearing for loved ones after deadly storm

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