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Some Alaskans Still Waiting to Hear from Family in Philippines

By Abby Hancock, Reporter (Social Issues, Youth Issues, and 2 Your Health), ahancock@ktuu.com
Published On: Nov 13 2013 07:14:07 PM AKST
Updated On: Nov 13 2013 07:22:17 PM AKST
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -

Many Alaskans are still waiting to hear from loved ones nearly a week after Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines.

Rowena Pediangco, an Anchorage resident, still does not know how her father's family in Tacloban is doing. The region was completely devastated by record winds and intense rain and flooding.

As of Wednesday, four of Pediangco's relatives are still missing.

"I'm sure they'll be OK," she said. "It's just finding out for sure that they're OK."

Rogie Medina, Pediangco's cousin, owns the Play N Trade store in Anchorage and plan a fundraising event to send supplies and support to the Philippines.

Beyond concerns about her family's immediate well-being, Pediangco said she is worried about her relatives' lack of food and the aid they're receiving.

"I've been watching the news, and it looks like it's really bad, so I'm kind of imagining, 'Oh my gosh, how do they eat, how do they sleep,'" she said. 

Mayette Morein of Anchorage said she is also familiar with the waiting game.

When the typhoon hit Friday, Morein waited three or four days before she heard from family. Her three sisters and their families who live on the western side of Samar, about 65 miles from Tacloban, but they are all safe.

"I can't express the feeling of waiting," Morein said. "It's like waiting for something that you don't know what is happening. It's really devastating."

Morein is still constantly monitoring Facebook to keep up with her family in the wake of the storm. 

"The feeling that they're safe gives you comfort," she said. "They're lucky over there to be situated in a higher place or at least farther away from where the storm hit."

Morein said her family said people are panicking because another storm is expected within the next few days.