Filipinos in the UAE worry for fam­i­lies in path of typhoon

▶ Dam­age caused by the storm has cut com­mu­ni­ca­tions

The National - News - - NEWS - GIL­LIAN DUN­CAN and SALAM AL AMIR Sport, page 32

Filipinos liv­ing in the UAE are wor­ried about their rel­a­tives caught in the path of Typhoon Kam­muri.

The storm, which has wind speeds equiv­a­lent to a cat­e­gory-four hurricane, made land­fall on the coun­try’s largest is­land, Lu­zon, on Mon­day.

Er­linda Ro­driguez, 51, from Bu­lan in south­ern Lu­zon, works as a do­mes­tic helper in Abu Dhabi.

She has not been able to con­tact her fam­ily since the typhoon hit her prov­ince.

“I’m re­ally wor­ried about my fam­ily,” said Ms Ro­driguez, who has lived in the UAE for nine years.

“My son’s girl­friend is about to give birth to twins.”

Her hus­band, son and sis­ter still live in her home town, along with 11 mem­bers of her ex­tended fam­ily.

“I have been send­ing mes­sages but if they don’t have elec­tric­ity, they can’t charge their phones,” she said.

“Some­times, af­ter a typhoon, it will take three to four days be­fore the elec­tric­ity will come back be­cause the py­lons fall down and they need to clear up be­fore it’s re­con­nected.”

Ai­lene Belleza, 29, said she too had been un­able to con­tact her fam­ily of nine, who live in the heart of the typhoon-stricken area, since Mon­day night.

“I couldn’t sleep all night be­cause I’m very wor­ried. I had ear­lier spo­ken to my sisters and they told me hor­rific things had hap­pened to other homes in our neigh­bour­hood,” the cashier at Al Safeer Mall in Aj­man said.

“With no elec­tric­ity in the area, I think my fam­ily’s mo­bile phones are out of charge.”

Ms Belleza last saw her fam­ily in her home town of Iriga City in 2017 and is plan­ning to visit them again in March.

“I re­ally pray no harm will hap­pen to them or any­one else,” she said.

Her un­cle’s house, close to her fam­ily’s home, col­lapsed as a re­sult of the typhoon and he has since moved into her par­ents’ home with his wife.

“My fam­ily told me that trees have fallen due to very strong wind and rain on top of many homes in the neigh­bour­hood,” she said.

Ms Belleza is par­tic­u­larly con­cerned for her mother, who is paral­ysed from the waist down.

“I know my two sisters and five broth­ers are there tak­ing care of her but I’m afraid be­cause she is very ner­vous about the typhoon,” she said.

One per­son died and about 200,000 peo­ple have been told to leave their homes on the coast and in moun­tain­ous ar­eas to pro­tect them from flood­ing and land­slides caused by the storm, which brought 215kph winds and tor­ren­tial rains.

Kam­muri reached Manila yes­ter­day af­ter­noon and closed the city’s air­port.

EPA; Getty

Top, res­i­dents of Legazpi in Abay in the Philip­pines sal­vage what they can yes­ter­day in the af­ter­math of Typhoon Kam­muri; above, a res­i­dent bat­tles high winds and flood­ing in Lipa town, Batan­gas prov­ince, be­fore the storm made land­fall

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