Relatives of those affected by Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines have spoken of their anxious wait to hear news from their loved ones, and of profound grief for the loss of lives.
Nine relatives of Abu Dhabi resident killed as storm made landfall
Eladio Cidro Jr, a 40-year-old civil engineer in Abu Dhabi, lost nine relatives in the disaster.
His aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces and grandparents have all been killed, he learnt on Wednesday.
Most of his family lived in Basey, a seaside town in Samar province, about 10 kilometres across a bay from Tacloban, in Leyte province.
His grandparents, from Borongan in Samar, had travelled to San Jose, Tacloban City, before Super Typhoon Haiyan struck on November 8.
“They were seeking treatment at a hospital near the airport,” Mr Cidro said. “Now they’re gone.”
Residents are in need of basics such as food, water and clothing.
“They are so desperate,” he said. “There has been widespread looting and criminals have escaped from prison.”
He has not yet heard from his parents, who are in their mid-sixties and live in Borongan.
“Our town wasn’t badly affected,” Mr Cidro said. “My cousin assured me that my parents, one sister and two brothers were safe.”
He plans to relocate four families in Basey and three families in Borongan to Cavite City, south of Manila, where his family lives.
“I need to get them out of there as soon as possible,” he said. “I want them safe, away from all the violence.”
He shared the survivors’ frustration over the government’s slow response to distribute badly needed food and water to the central region.
He and his friends have begun collecting relief goods to send home.
“We have also arranged for relief goods from Cebu City to be delivered to Samar,” Mr Cidro said. “It may take time, but we’re hoping things will go back to normal in a few months.”