JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Thousands of Filipinos in Jacksonville are having trouble reaching family members in the Philippines after the destruction of Super Typhoon Haiyan. One local woman says she has not been able to reach any of her relatives.
Official: 10,000 feared dead after Typhoon Haiyan
"I got in touch with them last Thursday and that was the last time that I heard from them," said Julieta Wilde of Jacksonville.
Wilde tried to keep her composure in her sparkling dress and full make-up while attending the Veterans Ball Downtown with her husband, but inside she's full of worries.
"I'm very worried, but I just want to stay calm because I cannot do anything about it. All I can do is pray," said Wilde.
She born and raised in BayBay, Leyte in the Philippines, one of the areas hit hardest by Super Typhoon Haiyan.
"The whole village are my relatives but the only way to get there is by helicopter because the roads are submerged with water," said Wilde.
Wilde has a house on the beach in Leyte where her niece and brothers now live. She doesn't even know if it's still standing.
I've been trying to get in contact with them, but there's no power. I'm just hoping and praying that everyone over there are okay," added Wilde as her eyes watered.
She says every year she visits her family in Leyte and was planning another trip this coming February.
"It's really beautiful. Everybody stick together and be there for each other and right now we don't really know what's going on because there's no standing building. There's nothing."
Doreen Flippin is part of the Read Philippines organization and says there are about 16,000 Filipinos in Jacksonville, and many rallying together to help with the aftermath efforts.
"Everybody is hovering around talking about what to do and as you know disasters happen in the Philippines almost every year but this is the largest or the strongest storm that has ever hit so it's going to be massive relief. It's going to take a lot of time," said Flippin.
Relief efforts are already underway.
To donate to the Philippine Red Cross, click here. The Read Philippines organization will also be hosting fundraisers throughout the month. For more information, click here.
First Coast News