Valley residents keep close eye on Typhoon Haiyan - New York News

Valley residents keep close eye on Typhoon Haiyan

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MESA, Ariz. -

It's being called one of the strongest storms on record. Typhoon Haiyan slammed the central Philippines Friday, killing at least 4 people and forcing 3 quarters of a million people from their homes.

It's a terrifying sight for people who have family living in the Philippines. We caught up with some valley residents keeping a very close eye on the storm.

Typhoon Haiyan is massive. It's about is 375 miles wide. To give you some perspective, that's about the distance from Phoenix to Los Angeles.

Watching images of the typhoon on TV, they wait to hear if their family is safe. That's how some members in the Filipino community spent their day.

"It's just hard, you're here, you can't do anything really but just pray," says Jo-An Leith.

Most of Jo-An Leith's family -- her mom, dad, and sister -- still live in the Philippines. Three weeks ago her hometown was devastated by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake.

"There's a lot of aftershocks. The quake was actually like 2 weeks. They stayed outside the house because they afraid at any time the house would collapse."

Now they're being hit by powerful typhoon. Jo-An talked to her mom on the phone last night.

"Basically she said we're not afraid because God has given it all to us. At first she's just telling me that, just to make me not be sad."

Jo-An checks Facebook for updates while working at Manila Sunrise, a Filipino restaurant in Mesa. Employees and customers watched the typhoon closely in Filipino restaurants all across the valley.

Tess Menendez has owned Casa Filipina Bakeshop and Restaurant for seven years.

"There's a lot of customers really concerned about what's going on in the Philippines," says Tresita Pantanilla Menendez

Menendez says the valley has a tight-knit Filipino community who will do what they can to help.

"They're just trying to plan something to help the Filipino community."

Some restaurants have set up donation jars.

"It's just so far for you to just take it, but you can't do anything about it because you're so far, so what we can do is send money or anything to help," says Jo-An.

Help for Philippines Earthquake and Typhoon: http://newsroom.redcross.org/2012/08/09/triple-typhoons-hit-the-philippines-red-cross-responds/

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