Lynchburg Woman Trying to Contact Her Family in the Philippines Following Typhoon

Lynchburg, VA - The devastation left behind in the Philippines after super typhoon Haiyan hit left hundreds of thousands in need desperate need of food.

Looters are ransacking centers, hospitals, and other places. Medicines are running out.

One father of one-month-old twins says he only has four days of formula left.

The U.S. is sending aircraft to help.

The death toll stands at just over 2,000, well below the original estimate of 10,000, but the situation is still a tragedy.

Anabelle Goff made a plea for her family in the Philippines to please contact her. The Lynchburg woman cannot reach her brother and 14 nieces and nephews.

"Just worried sick. Can't sleep, that's all I think about. When I eat, I say 'I don't know if they're eating,' Goff said.

Gleaning for the World and media outlets are reporting the food and water supply there is severely lacking.

Goff's been watching the news day and night, and says her family lives in the heart of the mess.

"Two miles away from the ocean," Goff explained.

The water levels are high.

"The water got to their knees or to waist," Goff said.

Alma Hesson is also from the Philippines. Her family lives north of where the storm hit.

"They said they are o.k.," Hesson said.

Hesson is active with the local Filipino community and says the devastation has impacted dozens of families.

"A lot of them are still looking, still needing help," Hesson explained.

The Filipino community has organized a rosary and prayer ceremony that is open to the public this Friday.

It will be at St. Thomas Moore Catholic Church in Lynchburg at 6 p.m.

"Join us and just pray for all the victims and all the survivors also and hoping help will get there right away," Hesson said, crying. "Right now we just can't do anything here, but to hope and pray that help will get there right away."

Gleaning for the World says Thursday they will wire $10,000 to help storm victims get supplies.

If you know someone who needs help reaching family, The American Red Cross has a program called "Restoring Family Links."

The program connects local people in our area with a case worker. The case worker reaches out to an office in D.C. and ultimately to the Red Cross office in the Philippines.

The Red Cross says the support from locals has been overwhelming.

"I think this community is really generous and really in tune to what's going on around the world and so we've been getting lots of phone calls and emails and people just want to know how they can help," Executive Director Nathan Wittkamp said.

There are about 150 Filipino families in the Lynchburg area, and the Red Cross is working to get in touch with all of them.

If you would like to help, contact Gleaning for the World, or donate to the American Red Cross.

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