SACRAMENTO - Many people in the Philippines are without food, water, electricity or medicine because of the damage done by Typhoon Haiyan. It turns out there are a number of volunteers from the Sacramento Valley who were caught in the typhoon and are helping out in this time of need.

Two hundred miles away and two islands over from the city of Tlacoban, which saw the brunt of the damage, native Sacramentan and Peace Corps volunteer Karla Gina Piacentini said her area of Cadiz City was hit hard as well.

Her pictures show how the storm ripped roofs of homes toppled tin walls, uprooted trees, and took down power lines.

"We have water, we have food, but electricity is a problem," said Piacentini.

She says they could be without electricity for up to two months. But, that's just part of the problem. Now, many people are homeless.

"It's tiring. It's so sad. Just going back to my site yesterday. It's horrific seeing homes of people you knew," said Piacentini.

On Boracay Island, which is about 400 miles away from the city of Tlacoban, there's a team of volunteers from Shelter Cove Community Church in Modesto.

"Our team was able to be there before the storm, be there in the midst of it all, and help people immediately after the storm," said Pastor Jeremy Oldenburgur.

The team originally went to the Philippines to build a recreation center and to do outreach to the community.

Pastor Oldenburgur, who's currently in Modesto, said the team's mission has changed.

"Now they're first responders helping a lot of the Philippines with food and water."

The pastor talked to the team leader in the Philippines Sunday.

"They're tired emotionally. It's been exhausting," said Oldenburgur.

Those church volunteers from Modesto are trying to do everything they can to help before they return to the U.S. this Friday.

By Suzanne Phan,

Twitter: @SuzannePhan


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