As death toll from typhoon climbs, NJ’s Filipino community desperately waits to hear from family

Posted at 8:11 PM, Nov 09, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-09 20:13:41-05

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (PIX11) – Rowena Dabu and her family live in the Country Village section of Jersey City, the area hit hardest by Superstorm Sandy. Now, it’s the rushing waters of super Typhoon Haiyan consuming the Dabus and the thousands of other Filipino Americans who call Jersey City their home.

Rowena’s mother, three sisters and three brothers live outside of Manila, hundreds of miles from Tacloban, the seaside city which took the brunt of Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms on record.

She started calling her siblings, but couldn’t get through.

“I feel very comfortable that they’re OK.  My concern is the people right now who are devastated by this typhoon,” Rowena said.

Nova de Lera is worried sick over her brother.  She has no idea where he and his family are.

“They’re in Palo Leyte, which was really hit hard. We don’t have any contact because the telecommunications are down, so nothing.  But my other brother went to check  on them but still no news,” Lera said.

Sunday, a representative from the Philippine consulate in New York will join members of the Jersey City community to begin organizing a relief drive. They’re waiting for more information before deciding whether to send money or goods.