Atlanta woman says relatives missing after Phillipine typhoon

by: Diana Davis Updated:

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ATLANTA, Ga. - A massive international aid effort is starting to take shape, but not quickly enough for the 600,000 people who've been displaced by the supertyphoon that hit the Philippines.

One Atlanta woman has three family members who remain missing.

Grace Ragheb talked to Channel 2's Diana Davis at the Peachtree Road Lutheran Church, which is organizing relief efforts for victims. Thousands are dead, and at least 600,000 more have nowhere to go. Many are homeless, hungry and thirsty; injured or sick.

A friend found one cousin's name on an Internet list of survivors.

Ragheb said she talked to him briefly by phone.

"I told him, 'Thank God you are alive,' and I said, 'Where are the others? Where are your other siblings? Our family? All my cousins?' And he said he can't find them yet. There's no food; nothing," she cried.

The desperation seems to grow by the day.

The Peachtree Road Lutheran Church is rounding up donations to help the families.

The church preschool director was raised in the Philippines.

As grateful as they are for donated clothing, Caroline Diaz and others say what they need most is money.

"It's any amount. You'd be surprised how much $5 can bring the Filipino people. Five bucks can give them, like, a sack of rice; can give them several cans of canned food," said Diaz.

With roads still mostly impassable, it's the money that helps get the supplies to the people in need the fastest.

An Atlanta Philippine American <Philippine-American?> organization is also offering help. Willie Bonus is the CEO of Makabayan Georgia Inc.

"Right now, (aid) is slowly trickling in. Whatever we get, we're going to send 100 percent of the donations," he said.

Ragheb is still praying that with one member of her family found alive, the others will be, too.

"We are still hoping for the best. I still believe they are still alive," she said.

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