Lincoln Tan

Lincoln Tan is the New Zealand Herald’s diversity, ethnic affairs and immigration senior reporter.

Typhoon Haiyan: Kiwis wait for news

Haiyan on its way to Vietnam overnight after ravaging through the Philippines.

Auckland couple Dennis and Amie Maga face an anxious wait for news from loved ones in the Philippines following the deadly typhoon Haiyan.

Their hometown, Tacloban, was one of the worst hit by the typhoon, which has brought down phone lines, cutting communication to the central city.

As many as 10,000 people are believed to have died in Tacloban and the surrounding Leyte province. Ferocious winds ravaged several central islands, burying people under tons of debris and leaving corpses hanging from trees, while giant waves washed away homes, schools and airport buildings.

On Samar Island, which faces Tacloban, Leo Dacaynos of the provincial disaster office said 300 people were confirmed dead and another 2000 were missing.

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The typhoon was last night heading toward Vietnam. Mr Maga, a father of two who lives in New Lynn, said: "My wife is in tears, she's anxious and worried about what has happened to her mum," he said.

"We did everything, even trying to contact the local police station and everyone we know, but we can't reach anyone."

Authorities in the Philippines have reported entire communities flattened and islands disappearing.

Tacloban, a city of 200,000 about 580km southeast of Manila, has reportedly been turned into a muddy wasteland littered with upturned cars and flattened roofs.

The country's Social Welfare department said the storm affected 4.28 million people in about 220 towns across 36 provinces.

But, despite 376 New Zealanders registered as being in the Philippines, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said there were no reports of any Kiwis killed or injured.

Auckland's Filipino community met on the North Shore yesterday to discuss ways to assist affected members and also fundraising efforts.

Leizl Fay Yuntong, who has two daughters still in Ormoc, said she felt helpless as she watched news of the storm from her home in Tauranga.

Husband Warren East said the girls, aged 15 and 21, took shelter in a hotel just before the typhoon struck.

"We lost contact with them on Friday but we finally got a text on Saturday to say they were both alive and uninjured but were traumatised by the shaking of a multi-storey concrete hotel that subsequently lost its roof to the storm."

Where to go for help

* The Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises all New Zealanders in affected areas to follow the advice of the local authorities and keep family and friends at home informed of their safety.

* Those requiring consular assistance should contact the New Zealand Embassy in Manila on +63 2 891 5358.

Typhoon Haiyan: Donate to aid operations

NZ Red Cross

Unicef NZ

World Vision NZ

Oxfam NZ

- NZ Herald

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