(NECN: Josh Brogadir, Quincy, Mass.) - Members fo the Filipino American community in the Greater Boston area are expressing relief that Typhoon Haiyan did not do any more damage in the Philippines.
Its power was felt across a wide swath of the Philippines as one of the strongest storm ever recorded, super Typhoon Haiyan made landfall across the central part of this Southeast Asian nation composed of more than 7,000 islands.
Three quarters of a million people had to flee their homes.
But the storm has an even wider reaching impact as American families search for their loved ones - among them is our NECN co-worker Hanah Fadrigalan, who moved to Boston from the Philippines when she was 13.
Many of her aunts, uncles and cousins are still there.
"Everyone is okay in my family. Through Facebook we reached them because in the beginning some of the communications lines were cut. So they couldn't reach us and we couldn't reach them right away," she said.
Hanah’s family lives in Luzon, just north of the hardest hit area, known as the Visayas. It's comprised of the islands of Samar, Leyte, Cebu and Panay, and the region sustained winds of 150 miles per hour moving from east to west, from the Philippine Sea to the South China Sea. The storm has severed communication for thousands.
"When you hear a storm there is almost no escape, you're on an island. Every place to go is literally an island," Fadrigalan said.
The American Red Cross is not on Filipino soil right now, but is assisting with communication.
"There are citizens from the Philippines who are looking to connect with families here or families here looking to connect with families from the Philippines," said American Red Cross Director of Communication Kat Powers.
A central point in the Greater Boston Filipino community is JNJ Turo Turo restaurant in Quincy, where owner Jervin Erasquin says he has been watching Filipino TV for constant updates, glad that this storm moved quickly and that it wasn't worse.
"My mom and my dad, every now and then we called, but now the phone line is dead there too so we're just hoping and praying that everybody there is okay," Erasquin said.
Seeking family members? Call the American Red Cross to connect at 617-274-5233.