People in Portland wait to hear from family hit by typhoon - KPTV - FOX 12

People in Portland wait to hear from family hit by Typhoon Haiyan

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While rescue workers try to help those devastated by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, many in Portland wait for a phone call.

Some have heard from family and friends hit by the storm. Others have not.

"You would like to do something, but then at the same time, there's not much you can do," Cesar Teraza said.

Teraza is waiting to hear from his family and friends in Tacloban, the city hit hardest by the typhoon.

What little news he has, isn't good.

"Every time I look at people lying dead in the streets, I can't take it."

Two of Cesar's cousins died when waves and wind from the storm ripped through the islands.

His sister's family made it through, but now struggles to find food after the typhoon wiped out access to most necessities.

While he combs Facebook for updates and looks for any way to help, others do the same just waiting for any sign their family is safe.

That's where Red Cross volunteer Carl Schellenger steps in.

"It's my responsibility to trace them, locate them and report what their condition is," he said.

Right now, he's getting about eight calls a day from people in the state looking for loved ones in the Philippines. It's no easy task, with lines of communication wiped out.

"If we can't get to you electronically, we will knock on your door," Schellenger said.

But, he said, being any kind of news is well worth the search.

"Every message is important to whatever we can give to those people."

Mercy Corps said what's needed most right now are basic things like food and water.

To donate, visit

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