by: Diana Davis Updated:
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - One month since a massive typhoon hit the Philippines, some metro Atlanta residents are only now getting word on the fate of their families. One DeKalb woman told Channel 2's Diana Davis she was about to give up hope when she finally got word that eight members of her family survived.
One month after the typhoon, at least 5,700 are dead another 1,700
remain missing. Until recently, those missing included a sister, a brother-in-law and grandchildren of Luz Stanford.
"Oh, my gosh, I cannot sleep. I cannot focus on work. I've been crying because I know my town has been hit," Stanford told Davis.
Stanford said she warned her sister to get out of harm's way a day or two before the typhoon hit.
Since their town is surrounded by the waters of the Pacific, Stanford's sister told her there was nowhere to go.
"I was so worried. We always have typhoons, but not this big. I cannot reach her because the communication has been cut," Sanford said.
With so much debris lying in the streets and so many dead, it's been only in the last week or so that telephone and
Internet services have been mostly restored.
Stanford finally heard from her sister through Facebook and then a teary phone call.
"Oh, my gosh, I was so thankful to the Lord; I was so happy, but I was so emotional. I was crying, and she said, 'You don't need to be crying.' She said, 'You need to be thankful we are all alive,'" said Stanford.
Stanford said she is thankful and is now trying to raise money for relief efforts.
The Philippine government says it will take at least three years to rebuild. Tens of thousands remain homeless, living in rubble.
"They are hungry and they don't have houses and they were living in the street. It made me cry every single day when I (saw them) on Facebook," said Stanford.
The storm was one of the largest to ever hit land.
It triggered an international response led by the United States and the United Nations. Click this link for information on how you can help.