Colorado families wait as thousands feared dead in Philippines typhoon

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TACLOBAN, Philippines -- Filipino-Americans in Colorado have been closely following the path of Typhoon Haiyan and the damage left in its wake. And many of them are still unable to reach loved ones who live in the Central Philippines.

"I'm concerned, I'm very concerned because we just haven't heard anything," said Michael Waxelman of Arvada. His aunt and her children live in Tacloban, one of the hardest hit cities in the country.

"Sounds like an end-of-time scene from a movie, basically," said Waxelman, referring to reports of bodies floating in the streets, looting and general devastation. "It just sounds surreal that this is happening in my aunt's hometown."

Giselle Rushford of Westminster has also had no luck reaching her cousins by telephone in the Philippines.

"We've been trying every half hour, every hour and there's no answer," she said. Rushford said the focus for many in the local Filipino-American community is typhoon relief. A fundraiser was held Saturday evening in Edgewater and more are planned in the future.

"Philippines is not a rich country, it's a developing country," Rushford said. "In good times it's got problems and now it's horrible."

At a Vietnamese church in Aurora Sunday, the pastor asked people to help typhoon victims just as Haiyan slams into his country.

"I ask people to continue to pray for them and if they can support them.. because they need financial support," said Paul Lam of Vietnamese Community Baptist Church.

Meantime, Waxelman continues to try to reestablish some kind of communication.

"We can't rest until we hear positive confirmation that they're okay," he said.

The Philippine Red Cross estimated at least 1,200 people were killed by Haiyan, but that number could change as officials make their way to remote, nearly inaccessible places pummeled by the storm.

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