Couple waits for word on family in Philippines

A Minot couple has been waiting anxiously for news about family caught in the heart of Typhoon Haiyan when it struck the Philippines Friday.

Jim Crawley and his wife, Aime, who came from the Philippines to the United States when they married 1-1/2 years ago, remain hopeful for 12 of Aime’s relatives who were staying in a home in Palo, which is part of Tacloban. Crawley, who has made five trips to the Philippines, said Tacloban is right on the coast, with the ocean visible from the main highway. The city was the hardest hit by the typhoon.

“I have contacted the Red Cross and I have been searching victim lists and survivor lists, but we haven’t heard anything yet,” Crawley said.

Because the typhoon left the region without electricity, making contact with or getting word from family members has been impossible.

“The only information anybody is getting is basically through news reports and Facebook,” Crawley said.

He said most of his wife’s family lives about an hour and 20 minutes away from Tacloban, but when they learned the storm was nearing land, they went to stay with her sister. They believed the sister’s concrete home in Palo would be safer than their grass houses. Staying in the home at the time of the typhoon were Aime’s parents, two sisters, two brothers and nieces and nephews.

The Crawleys were able to contact some residents of her family’s home community, who reported the storm did damage there, mostly tearing off roofs of homes. Residents were fine.