Filipino Native Anxious About Homeland After Typhoon

By Corinne Rose - 21Alive

November 13, 2013 Updated Nov 13, 2013 at 6:45 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) -- With the death toll rising, a local student born in the Philippines anxiously watches for updates on the devastation there.

Typhoon Haiyan was the most powerful storm recorded.

The official death toll in the Philippines stands at more than 2,300 but that number will most certainly rise as crews continue to retrieve bodies.

We caught up with 18-year old Von Erick Sandoval who was born in the Philippines and came to the United States when he was six.

His grandparents and aunt still live in his homeland.

Even though they live hundreds of miles from where the typhoon struck, they still lost power for most of the day. And the University of Saint Francis freshman says he can't imagine what life must be like for the people the storm affected most.

“What I think of them is that, you know, if I was in their situation, same thing as they would ask: where would I start? I mean under the piles of rubbles, I mean, I know trying to get all my family, trying to find all my family members again. But where do I start after there? I mean, after I get the supplies. But main question, where do I start from there?” asks Von Erick Sandoval.

He says the best thing people can do is pray and perhaps contribute to disaster relief operations.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced by the storm, and have no access to food, water, medicines or medical help.

At 18, Sandoval says he's been called to be a priest, and he would love to be assigned to his homeland of the Philippines to minister to people there.

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