Utahns concerned about loved ones in path of Typhoon Haiyan

Posted at 9:59 PM, Nov 08, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-09 23:49:04-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- As Typhoon Haiyan continues to pound the Philippines and moves its way to Vietnam, there are Utahns who still haven't heard from their loved ones in the storm's path.

The Typhoon is estimated to have killed more than 1,000 people as of Saturday.

FOX 13 News spoke with two families Friday who are praying for news from their family members, some of whom are serving missions in the Philippines.

"It is so devastating," said Daisy Fisher, whose entire family is in the Philippines. The last she heard from any of them was her sister Wednesday night, but there are many others she's worried about.

"We don't know what's going on with them,” she said. “Luckily one thing for sure is I know there is food for them.”

Fisher said she's been glued to the screen trying to get the latest information from the Philippines.

"I have to think of them all the time, and it's so hard when you are here so far away and you're so powerless," she said. "You can't do anything."

Becky Ewell is also feeling powerless with her twin sons both serving missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Philippines. Ewell said Friday she hadn't heard from either of her sons since the typhoon hit.

"I actually heard about the typhoon first from him, and he said that he was getting prepared for it, that they were preparing for this storm and that they were gathering food and water and they would be moving the missionaries and anybody away from the coastal areas that they could,” she said.

Ewell said Saturday she had heard from both of her sons. She said they received emails from the two missionaries. One of them was in the storm's path, and he reportedly told his family many homes were destroyed or damaged and there is no power or water, but he said they are safe.

Officials with the LDS Church said on their website Friday that all missionaries were accounted for with the exception of some serving in the Tacloban Mission.

LDS church officials issued a statement Saturday that indicated about two-thirds of the missionaries in the Tacoblan Mission had been contacted, and that all of the missionaries had been given a 72-hour kit and were moved to safe locations before the storm hit.

Time will tell just how destructive the storm was. For Utahns like Fisher, seeing her homeland destroyed is agonizing.

"It just breaks my heart apart,” she said. “I wish I have all the resources. I have that desire that I wish I have all the resources to help them."