Filipinos in the UAE worry for families in path of typhoon
▶ Damage caused by the storm has cut communications
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.
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