Filipino Consul, local Vietnamese react to typhoon devastation - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Filipino Consul, local Vietnamese react to typhoon devastation

Updated:

NEW ORLEANS - The official death toll stands at 942, but emergency managers think that number will go as high as 10,000.

From Tacloban in the Philippines, to the northern sections of Vietnam, Typhoon Haiyan unleashed the strength of one of the most powerful storms ever measured. But the full damage cannot be assessed.

"It's really hard to make an assessment of what we can do to help them if we don't have that power and communications," said Honorary Filipino Consul to New Orleans Robert Romero.

"Donations are not enough," said Romero. "You give them food for a day - how would they eat for the next four days?"

Bodies lie uncollected on the streets of the Philippines. The country is comprised of 7,000 islands, making assistance difficult. From the air, there are only a few concrete structures still standing. And while the military is assisting, Filipino Americans say much more will be needed.

"The most vulnerable, the children, will suffer the most, and right now our sympathy goes with them," said Romero.

Unlike our area, typhoons can strike the Philippines, which is near the equator, virtually any time of the year.

"It basically is year-round," said FOX 8 meteorologist Chris Franklin. "There at threat for something tropical year-round."

After the storm ripped through the Philippines, it crossed the Gulf of Tonkin and slammed into Vietnam, a huge concern to one congregation in New Orleans east.

"This storm sent in 15 inches of water, and did leave behind some damage, but it was minimal," said Anthony Tranh, from Mary Queen of Vietnam Church.

Haiyan hit North Vietnam with tropical storm-strength winds.

Deaths are said to be well below 100, thanks in part to a massive evacuation effort.

"The government  learned a lesson from Katrina," said Tranh. " And they are well prepared."

Though the damage in Vietnam is said to be marginal, the Philippines are another story, and recovery from Haiyan, could take years.

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