Filipino Americans fear for their families back home

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Debris as far as the eye can see. What once was is no more for some of the most devastated areas of the Philippines. Super Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the country Friday. And five days later Filipinos attending the Filipino mass at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Biloxi fear the worst for the loved ones back home who they still haven't heard from.

"I think I have a big bills now for long distances. I've been calling to my relatives in Cebu. My other brothers, my nephew, my nieces in Cebu. We just really want to know what's going on," Genara Matuguina Lewis said.

Lewis made countless international phone calls and numerous text messages to relatives and her older sister, who she said didn't evacuate. She hasn't heard from any of them.
Luckily Arsenia Barcial said her family members are alive, but they've lost everything.

"Oh it breaks my heart. It's so tragic you know Filipinos are used to the hardship in life. All the calamities, but this one is really very, very bad," Arsenia Barcial said.

In mass Chaplain Jose Lachica felt the pain of his fellow Filipinos.

"When I was in the Philippines for a while we had a lot of storms. That's common for us. But this one. This is different. Something like, oh my goodness what's wrong? What happened to the world right now," Lachica said.

While the death toll continues to rise in the Philippines, the Filipino Americans at Our Lady of Fatima Church keep holding onto their faith.

"I've been keep praying. I just want to cry. I've been crying for a week now," Lewis said.

Our Lady of Fatima is collecting monetary donations for victims in the Philippines. The phone number to the church is (228) 388-3887.

Copyright 2013 WLOX. All rights reserved.