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Philippines devastation hits home for students

Rochester, N.Y. Senior Jonathan Kho at the University of Rochester has had little contact with his family in the Philippines since Typhoon Haiyan hit the country.

The most communication we've had in the past couple of days are a couple of emails, my cousin saying we're okay, said Kho.

His family grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins -- live just north of the hardest hit area.

Not having that communication is hard, it's rough, you really want to know that everyone you care about is safe, is comfortable, isn't suffering, said Kho. I think my degree of knowing if pretty much all I can ask for especially in relation to other areas where there's literally zero communication coming out.

Typhoon Haiyan is now described as the equivalent of a category 4 hurricane in the United States.

Wind gusts during the storm were more than 170 miles an hour.

City police and administrators in the typhoon ravaged Tacloban City in the central Philippines said the death toll there could reach 10,000 people, mostly by drowning and from collapsed buildings.

Kho, who is also president of the Filipino American Student Association at the University of Rochester, said some members are still waiting to hear from loved ones.

With the communication systems being down it's just a waiting game to make sure all their friends and relatives are safe, said Kho.

To help with recovery efforts donations can be made to the Philippine Red Cross or the International Red Cross.

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Washington Times