Typhoon Haiyan has devastated parts of the Philippines and its force is hitting home with Saskatoon’s Philippine community.

Estrel Dato, a retired journalist and a director with the Philippine Association of Saskatoon, immigrated to Canada from the Philippines, but still travels home to see her friends and family who live on the islands.

Dato has been keeping in touch with her friends back home through email.

“From what I heard from my friend from Luzon, all of the roofs were being [taken] away and whole houses were being carried off into the air, and people were [flying] away,” Dato said.

CBC meteorologists are calling Haiyan one of the strongest storms on record. Emergency officials believe the storm has claimed over 1,200 lives.

Dato said friends and family living in the Philippines have told her that despite warnings to evacuate, many people decided to stay and were killed by the typhoon's path.

"I was told it just went very quickly, and left very quickly, but what was left behind was just dreadful, it was horrible. There was just debris all over the place," Dato said.

The disaster has prompted the Saskatoon Philippine Association to hold an emergency meeting Monday to discuss what they can do to help.