Philippines - November 11, 2013

Dear Manong John,

We know your thoughts are with us here as Super Typhoon Yolanda is battering the Visayan Islands. Even here in Ozamiz, we felt the gusty winds brought by the so-called "monster typhoon." But we are thankful we are far enough that the winds didn't leave any damage here. It sounds though that this typhoon is not as deadly as the typhoons we had here couple of years ago.

I was able to contact Richard early this morning in Canipaan, Leyte (both of these brothers are on Leyte where the typhoon first made landfall and was most destructive). Florencio is over in Nebga, but I did not get a response from him. They were in two different places for Bible Studies Wednesday evening and they were supposed to meet in Nebga for their gospel meeting Thursday evening, but since there are no buses going, Richard just stayed at their bach in Canipaan. The typhoon calmed down already when I contacted Richard this morning and he said some houses in the neighbourhood were destroyed, many people on the street cleaning and cutting fallen down trees. He said they lost electric power since early hours of the morning.... but communication lines are kept open. He said they are all safe. I have been trying to contact both of them later again today, but they cannot be reached. I presume their phones are dead and there is no way to have them recharged.

I tried to get hold of Ate Cecilia and Ate Aida but neither of them answered.

This evening, Ate Lolita texted me saying they did have strong winds in Cebu, but all the friends are fine. They have no power and no water as of tonight.

There should be more news by tomorrow.

Your Ozamiz brother,

Reyniel, Jojo and Renante