Minnesotans rally to help typhoon-ravaged Philippines


Twin Cities Filipinos are scrambling to send aid to the supertyphoon-ravaged Philippines, the Star Tribune reports.

Among them are Dr. Bernard Quebral, who led an effort to stuff two 40-foot containers full of medical supplies bound for the storm-lashed island nation, the newspaper reports. Then by Sunday, he was seeking more support among local Filipinos, looking to fill another container with food, clothing, blankets and other emergency goods. There are roughly 1,500 residents in the Twin Cities of Filipino descent, the newspaper reports.

"It’s just the worst devastation that you can imagine," Lita Malicsi, who leads an umbrella group of Filipino organizations, told the Star Tribune.

The Star Tribune has a how-you-can-help list.

Meanwhile, a Minneapolis-based group is preparing to send a team of up to six people to the Philippines, although it faces a tough obstacle: The storm closed airports, MPR News reports. The American Refugee Committee has special expertise in the distribution of emergency non-food items.

Some of the Twin Cities' Filipinos have gathered at the Philippine Center of Minnesota in Maplewood, many saying they have family members in the Philippines who also lost everything, WCCO reported.

Fox 9 has a Skype interview with an American man who lives in the Philippines but whose area of the country was spared the worst of the storm damage.

Fox and KARE 11 had stories over the weekend of Minnesotans struggling to reach their loved ones in the storm-struck nation.

The Friday storm was one of the worst ever to hit the Philippines and the scope of the devastation and the desperation of survivors is still coming into view Monday, the New York Times reports. At least 10,000 are feared dead in one town, Tacloban, alone.

International relief teams are rushing to reach the hardest-hit areas, the Los Angeles Times reports. Destitute survivors were looting food and water or scrambling to find a path out, the newspaper reports.

CNN describes a grim scene of widespread despair, with survivors combing through the wreckage of their homes, searching for buried loved ones, and others scrambling to find food and water in areas littered with corpses. Large areas of the nation are reportedly cut off with no electricity or communications.

One bright spot amid the destruction: Cheers erupted Monday in Tacloban when a 21-year-old woman gave birth to a baby girl, the Associated Press reports.

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