A group of local Filipinos gathered Sunday for a day of prayer for those in the Philippines. They are more than 9,000 miles away from loved ones affected by Typhoon Haiyan.
"If I was there I would definitely volunteer and try to help, but right now all we can do is pray," said Jessa Dhanasar, a local Filipina.
Jessa's mother lives in the Philippines, but her city did not sustain heavy damage. Vicky Canonigo, however, has good friends in Leyte Island, the hardest hit region.
"By looking at the news I already cried, because we cannot communicate with them," Canonigo said.
The typhoon is one of the most powerful storms recorded in history. It's wiped out entire towns and communication is very limited.
"We have not heard from [our cousins] because I cannot communicate," said Adilberta Tajale.
The tight-knit Filipino community in South Florida has been watching news of the devastation all week, and social media has also kept them informed.
"I look at my Facebook almost all the time because my friends are still trying to find help, like they are trying to see if their families are okay," Dhanasar said.
Members of this prayer group had already been collecting donations for victims of an earthquake that hit the Philippines in October. Now they say they'll have to expedite that shipment.
"I guess we'll have to push it to send it right away," Lyn Tajale said.
For more information on relief efforts, click here.
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