NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The devastation sparked by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines has prompted people in the Tri-State Area to act – especially those with personal ties to the country.
On Sunday, some people laced up their running shoes and walked across Central Park to raise money for the recovery effort.
Many of the participants were members of local Filipino groups, and have relatives on the islands.
The run was originally set up to help raise money for victims of the major earthquake in the Philippines last month, but it will also be sent to typhoon survivors.
“It’s so heartbreaking to see all of those people who lost their lives, families, houses. We want to help,” said Persephone Vargas of Wayne, N.J. “This is our way of helping.”
“Every little bit helps,” added fundraiser organizer Arland Macasieb. “It’s going to take a long time to rebuild, but having unity and strength like this — it’s good.”
Organizers said the event raised more than $100,000.
Haiyan hit the eastern seaboard of the Philippine archipelago on Friday and quickly barreled across its central islands before exiting into the South China Sea, packing winds of 147 miles per hour that gusted to 170 mph, and a storm surge that caused sea waters to rise 20 feet.
In the Philippines Sunday, corpses hung from tree branches and were scattered along sidewalks and among flattened buildings, while looters raided grocery stores and gas stations in search of food, fuel and water. Residents have been picking through coastal towns in the rubble looking for victims.
Local officials on hardest-hit Leyte Island said that there may be 10,000 dead in the provincial capital of Tacloban alone. Reports also trickled in from elsewhere on the island, and from neighboring islands, indicating hundreds, if not thousands of more deaths, though it will be days before the full extent of the storm’s impact can be assessed.
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