Oklahoma Couple Talks About Their Fear For Philippine Relatives

Sunday, November 17th 2013, 11:08 pm
By: News On 6

The death toll continues to climb more than a week after one of the most powerful storms in history tore through the Philippines.

It's estimated that 500,000 people are homeless including family members of an Oklahoma couple.

"It was so scary to me, oh my goodness, if it's really is as big at it is," Beatriz Graham said.

Beatriz and Henry Graham watched helplessly as one of the largest typhoons in recorded history bore down on their loved ones.

"Within one year we have 20 typhoons, but this one was a killer," she said.

The Grahams say because typhoons in the Philippines are as common at tornadoes in Oklahoma - they think the population may have underestimated just how powerful it was.

The city of Barrio Meslog was hit hard by Typhoon Haiyan.

"Her whole family is in that village," Henry Graham said. "It's unbelievable in a matter of hours what can happen to a country."

The massive water surge and the 200-mph winds that followed have affected more than 11 million residents.

The death total is twice that of Hurricane Katrina with 3,600 dead, 12,000 injured and another 1,200 missing.

"I've already had two people [I know] die in that typhoon," Beatriz Graham said.

Beatriz says because she can't contact her family, she stays up to date through friends on Facebook.

The couple knows their family is alive, but they are still without shelter, electricity and clean water.

No gasoline, they cannot go anywhere to get food.

A cousin to the Grahams has started a webpage to bring in donations for the village.

They're hoping the outreach will supplement the United Nation's recovery efforts, because some supplies are aren't getting to the hardest hit areas because the debris littered roads.

"You get sick of seeing everything, knowing that you can't do anything," Henry Graham said.

The Grahams say at times they just have to turn off the television.

They know their family's village will eventually rebuild, but until then, they will rely on their faith and one another to get through.

"Just pray, hopefully they're OK and they have food to eat. That's all that matters," Beatriz Graham said.