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After Tembin battered the Philippines, Filipinos in Las Vegas worry about their families

Posted at 6:51 PM, Dec 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-26 21:52:14-05

People here in Las Vegas worry about their families after tragedy hits their home-land.

They hope for the best after Tropical Storm Tembin batters the southern Philippines.

Tens of thousands of people were displaced and more than 160 killed.

The death toll is still rising.

Over the holiday weekend Tropical Storm Tembin slammed into the southern Philippines.

Most of the deaths were in the hardest hit provinces on the Zamboanga peninsula.

"They're in trauma. They don't know what to do."

Here in Las Vegas John Mark Mercado has been worried sick. He's originally from one of the hardest hit regions.

Most of his relatives are still there.

"What they did is they just want to get out. Some of them they could just see the neighbors  they are coming on to the roof," says Mercado.

Tembin unleashed devastating flash floods, triggering landslides.

The floodwaters were so high, John's family had to be rescued by lifeboats. 

They had nothing but the clothes on their backs.

"That's the heartbreaking moment. You see, all of the appliances, all of the food stocks that have been stocked there for Christmas season well it's gone."

John's family had to cancel their plans for a grand reunion giving the money to their calamity-stricken relatives instead.

"It's not good to celebrate and have this kind of fun when our family member is affected by this calamity."

Right now, there is no movement within the Filipino community in Las Vegas to assist in relief efforts. They're still assessing the damage brought by Tembin, and another deadly Tropical Storm,  Urduja which hit the Philippines' central region just a week ago. 

"I know most of us offered prayers to them but I urge you to  extend help, whatever you could do."

Facebook has also pledged to match donations for victims of Severe Tropical Storm Tembin, up to $500,000.

The Philippine Red Cross is also accepting donations. For more information, click here.