LAKEWOOD, OH (WOIO) - Thousands could be dead in what officials say might be the deadliest storm to ever hit the Philippines.
The aftermath of the typhoon is hitting home here in northeast Ohio as a lot of families here wait to hear from love ones in the Philippines.
The damage is shocking in the sea side city of Tacloban a city of 200,000 people. Officials say as many as 10,000 could be dead in this city alone.
Dr. German Neri who has an office in Lakewood, OH grew up on the island of Bohol which is still recovering from a devastating earthquake. Now his nation is dealing with a typhoon that packed 155 mph winds and storm surge of 20 feet.
Dr. German Neri says "there are lots of poor people in the Philippines and they still suffer you know. This is like a double suffering. A double whammy."
His family in the Philippines told him over the weekend people are homeless, hungry and in need of medical supplies now.
800,000 people were evacuated in the storms path but even evacuation shelters got torn apart. 20 typhoons hit the Philippines each year so some thought they could ride this one out.
"So you think they got the warning but they really didn't believe it was going to be bad," asked reporter Scott Taylor.
"Yes. We are use to typhoon's every year and they were not prepared," answered Dr. Neri.
Dr. Neri and the northeast Ohio Filippino community is organizing relief efforts. They start by helping one survivor back on their feet and then move on to the next. "That's our goal one person at a time."