- Posted November 9, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Looking for loved ones in the Philippines
FOUND: Americans in Tacloban City
My parents went back to the Philippines last week to their home in Barangay 110, Utap in Tacloban City, Leyte. I last spoke to my dad a couple of hours before the storm hit. He said that they were going to stay on the second floor of their house. We haven't heard from them since.
My dad is in his early 70s and is a veteran of the U.S. Navy. My mother is in her mid to late 70s and became a U.S. citizen about 10 years ago. We are worried about her health because a few days before they left to go back, my mom was in the hospital because of COPD. She needs her nebulizer.
Our family is hoping and praying that they are safe and sound. Some of us have not been able to sleep because we are so worried. They are amazing parents, grandparents and great-grandparents and we want them back home in the states safe, healthy, and happy.
UPDATE MONDAY: We have received word that my parents are alive. They are okay however they are confined to the house that they were in. We have a cousin who walked from Babatngon to Tacloban which is about a 45 min drive. He arrived there and was able to contact family in Babatngon to inform them that my parents are alive. The issue at this moment is that we need to get them out of the house. My mom is 77 years old and needs a wheelchair to get around and my dad is 72 is also not in the best of health to be able to walk to the airport. The situation is becoming increasingly dangerous in Tacloban as another storm is on the way. We do not know the condition of the house or their food supply. Because of her susceptibility to lung infections and her need for her nebulizer we need her to get out of the house as soon as possible.
On this Veterans Day please help a Veteran and his military wife get out of Tacloban City. If you have any contacts with the Marines or military that may be able to get to my parents to get them out of there, please let me know.
UPDATE WEDNESDAY: My parents are now in Babatngon Leyte which is a town to the north of Tacloban City. We heard their voices yesterday after my parents had to climb a mountain with other family and friends to get cell service. I video taped our conversation with my mom and dad and it's found here on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eGeoskSqRc. Our main issue right now is to find a way to get my parents from Babatngon to the Tacloban City airport so that they can be flown out of Leyte to Manila where my sister is. Babatngon is running out or has run out of food and has not seen any relief efforts. They have no form of transportation because there is no more gasoline. We are worried that our parents are outside of the perimeter that the US Military is going to help. We cannot call my parents unless they are at the mountain. We have contacted our US Senators in both Virginia and Illinois, the US Embassy in Manila, and many others to try to find help. Our family continues to fight to get them home and also to get relief to the town of Babatngon, Leyte where so many of my family members live.
Thursday 11/14 - 12:46 a.m.: I am confirming that I got the call that my parents have made it to Manila!!! They arrived and are currently at one of the Air Force Bases!!!
I have no idea how much I can thank you all for helping me get the word out about my parents. They said that they are so so so so happy to be out of there and in Manila. We are currently waiting for my sister to arrive at the Air Force Base to get them. We will need some time to figure out when they will be coming back to the states but it will be sooner rather than later.
Update 11/15/13: My dad was interviewed by Anderson Cooper and it showed on today's Anderson Cooper 360. My parents are dong well. They will be back in Chicago by Sunday Morning. Thank you all so very much! The interview with Anderson Cooper can be found here: http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/bestoftv/2013/11/16/ac-charles-branscomb.cnn.html.