Local Filipinos React to Devastating Typhoon - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Local Filipinos React to Devastating Typhoon

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Typhoon Haiyan has affected more than 4-million people in the Philippines.

Geanelli Lewis left the Philippines when she was 16 and now lives in Reno.

Most of her family still lives in Leyte -- one of the areas hardest hit by the storm.

"It's very hard. I want to fly right now and help, physically. But then again, with no telephones, with transportation a problem, I think I'm just going to get in the way."

Lewis hasn't heard from her relatives since the storm hit including her sister and 12-year-old nephew.

"If they are already dead, those two, I don't want more fatalities. I don't want the rescuers to go there and get in danger."

Lewis says it's too expensive to get other family members into that area because of price gouging -- with helicopter flights from Manila to Leyte costing about $3,500.

She says the storm's aftermath reminds her of the tsunamis in Japan and Indonesia.

"My heart ached for them at the time but because it's so close to me, I'm just afraid."

Many customers at the Manila Hong Kong Store and Kitchen, in Sparks, have also moved here from the Philippines.

The storm just missed Eugene Gasataya's hometown -- he lost contact with loved ones for two days before he found out they were safe.

"The first 48 hours was a lot of doubt. A lot of fear of how bad it can get...You can do Facebook but no one's responding. You can call cell phones. Nobody's responding. Even CNN can't get pictures in."

330,000 people have been displaced and are staying in 1,200 shelters.

Reminding Gasataya of other recent natural disasters.

"I remember Japan. I remember Katrina. I remember the bodies in Katrina. It's graphic. It's the same thing in the Philippines, just a lot more."

The 330,000 people that we mentioned have checked in with the Filipino Red Cross which the local chapter has access to. So, if you're trying to find out the status of someone in the Philippines, you can call them at 775-856-1000 and they might have that information.

To donate money to the Red Cross, click here.

You can also call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

Written by Paul Nelson

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