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Md. Residents Worry About Families Back In Philippines

WHITE MARSH, Md. (WJZ) -- As relief efforts begin in the Philippines, families in Maryland are desperate to hear from their loved ones living in the storm's path.

Meghan McCorkell has more.

With cell phone towers and the Internet down, many with loved ones in the Philippines are still in limbo, praying to hear from their families.

Buildings are crushed, leaving people homeless in the streets. The enormity of the devastation is overwhelming.

For Juliet Lizardo, the pictures are hard to see.

"I keep on praying that they're fine. I can always worry, but what is it going to bring me?" she said.

She hasn't heard from her mother, sister or niece. They were on an island near where the typhoon first made landfall.

"Seeing those videos, it's just heart-rending," said Rosemarie Iglopas.

The only thing Iglopas has received is a picture of her hometown, sent by her brother. Her grandparents and uncles are still missing.

"Roads are not passable. I heard that some people are able to go, but only take pictures and videos," she said.

The two women are members of the River of Life Church in White Marsh, where many families have been impacted by the storm.

The church is now collecting clothes, food, medicine and other supplies to send overseas.

"We're planning to send a big container and we want to make it really fast because time is of the essence," said Pastor Marilou Tabucanon.

As she organizes the massive collection, Pastor Tabucanon still doesn't know the fate of her own family.

"Facetime, Facebook, text, landline, cell nothing," she said.

Now the entire community prays as they do what they can to help.

The River of Life Church will collect supplies for the next two weeks from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. They'll also hold a benefit concert this Sunday.

Catholic Relief Services based here in Baltimore already has relief workers on the ground in the Philippines.

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