Central Ohio Filipino Families Track Storm
Meteorologists are calling it possibly the strongest storm in modern history, and it is causing major destruction in southeast Asia.
Super typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, triggering landslides, power outages and death.
The storm is known as Haiyan world-wide, but it is known in the Philippines as Yolanda.
Watching Yolanda's 20-foot high waves and 200-mile-per-hour plus winds from the other side of the world is Columbus resident Marilou Dhel.
"The only thing we can see right now is (by) watching the news,” Dhel said. “We don't know what's going on right now with my mom's house.”
Dhel says she has been absolutely glued to her cable Filipino channel all day.
With the super typhoon's roaring winds and downpours knocking out power and telephone service, Dhel has had no way of contacting her extended family.
"This morning, my sister tried to call them and then there's no communication anymore,” she said.
Government officials say they will have a better grasp of the number of deaths and injuries once aid workers get to the hardest-hit areas.
Dhel says she experienced plenty of typhoons while living in the Philippines but nothing like what she has seen with this storm.
“It’s really scary,” she said.
The storm had maximum sustained winds close to 200 mph over water and around 165 mph while traveling over land.
By comparison, Superstorm Sandy here in the U.S. produced winds of around 90 mph when it hit the coast of New Jersey a year ago.
Hurricane Katrina in 2005 had winds around 125 mph when it made landfall.
Dhel says all she can do while waiting to hear from her family is to pray for them.
"I'll be relieved that they are safe,” she said.
Haiyan is on a path to hit China and Vietnam next where emergency preparations are underway.