Manitoba

Winnipeg's Filipino community bands together for Typhoon Mangkhut victims

Members of Winnipeg’s Filipino community are banding together to help people overseas impacted by Typhoon Mangkhut.

Typhoon has left at least 81 people dead, most powerful to hit the Philippines this year

Mila Dacwag's relatives live about 25 kilometres from where the typhoon hit. (John Einarson/CBC)

Members of Winnipeg's Filipino community are banding together to help people whose homes and lives have been ravaged by Typhoon Mangkhut.

The 204 Neighbourhood Watch group put on a donation drive Tuesday night and collected everything from diapers to canned food for victims of the typhoon.

The typhoon is the most powerful storm to hit the Philippines this year and left at least 81 people dead and dozens of others missing, mostly in the avalanche in the gold-mining town of Itogon in Benguet province.

Rescuers search for people trapped in a landslide, after super typhoon Mangkhut hit the country, at a mining camp in Itogon, Benguet, Philippines Sept. 17, 2018. (Erik De Castro/Reuters)

Mila Dacwag found about it on social media long before its impact hit the news.

The Winnipeg woman used to live in the Philippines and has relatives about 25 kilometres from where the typhoon hit. Thankfully her family is OK.

 "They're safe, we are thankful, we are happy that they are alive," said Dacwag.

She struggled to find the words to explain how she felt when she found out about where the typhoon had hit.

"It's really — I cannot explain how sad it is because the connection isn't really like not only physical connection but as well as emotional connection."

Elmer Aquino helped organize the donation drive and said local couriers in the Filipino community have agreed to ship donations to those affected by the typhoon. He's been praying for everyone impacted by the typhoon and said the tight-knit Filipino community in Winnipeg has the victims in their thoughts.

"The Filipinos really are very close to each other ... Once somebody is in need, we always help out."

The 204 Neighbourhood Watch group is encouraging people who want to help out to make a financial donation to the Red Cross.

With files from CBC's Austin Grabish

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