Expat homeless as storm batters the Philippines




A BAHRAIN resident has lost his house and all his possessions as a result of a typhoon that made landfall in the Philippines over the weekend.

Father-of-four Antonio Glang, who works in Bahrain as a technical engineer, said Typhoon Hagupit had destroyed his property ‘“ leaving his family homeless.

He was among hundreds of Filipinos in Bahrain desperately seeking word from relatives back home after the typhoon knocked out power, left at least three people dead and sent nearly 900,000 into shelters before it weakened yesterday.

‘My house was in Tacloban city of Leyte province in central Philippines, but was torn down by heavy rains and floods,’ said the 47-year-old.

‘My wife and four children are homeless now and they were shifted to a nearby church used as a shelter.

‘But thank God they are safe and I spoke to them just before they were shifted to the government shelter.

‘They will stay there until everything is normal, but I am worried about them as they don’t have proper food or clean water to drink.

‘I was able to speak to them only once and then the lines were disrupted.

‘I am trying to get in touch with them but I cannot.

‘I am praying they are fine and safe.’

Mr Glang added the weather was freezing cold and most people in shelters were without warm clothes.

‘They need warm clothes and blankets as the weather is so cold,’ he said.

‘They don’t even have a proper place to sleep, forcing some to sleep on benches or on the ground. Immediate aid is needed by the government.’

Typhoon Hagupit was packing maximum sustained winds of 140kmph and gusts of 170kmph yesterday, considerably weaker from its peak power but still a potentially deadly storm, according to forecasters.

It made landfall in Eastern Samar late on Saturday and was moving slowly, dumping heavy rain that could possibly trigger landslides and flash floods.

Another woman who lives in Bahrain said her mother’s life had been saved by a neighbour, a doctor who was evacuated to the same shelter in Tacloban.

‘I am grateful to a doctor who saved the life of my mother who is a heart patient,’ said the 30-year-old, who asked to remain anonymous.

‘My mother is 95 years old and is a heart patient with diabetes.

‘She was evacuated and taken to the shelter after our house filled with flood water and suffered damage.

‘Upon reaching the shelter, her health deteriorated and a doctor in the shelter saved her life by providing first aid and necessary treatment she required.

‘Thank God there was doctor there, otherwise she would have died.’

Meanwhile, Filipino Club Global Bisdak Bahrain president Cecilio Ladaga said people were praying for their relatives with official casualty figures still awaited.

‘There is no electricity or drinking water and telephone lines are down, so it’s hard to get in contact with them (relatives) at the moment,’ he said.

‘We are following the news on television and praying for all those who are affected.

‘Nowadays people are aware and much better prepared in advance now, as they are used to typhoons.’

Bahrain-based Filipina Ikaw Na (FIN) chairwoman Rosemarie Hernandez said those in Manila had been much less affected. ‘I spoke to my 20-year-old daughter who lives with her aunt in Manila,’ she told the GDN.

‘There is rain, but the city is not flooded so my relatives are safe.

‘They said still the typhoon didn’t pass and it’s windy.’

One Bahrain Interior Ministry employee who asked not to be named said he had been unable to contact his relatives since the typhoon hit.

Source: http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=391511

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