Killer typhoon: S'porean relieved to make contact with sister

It was a text message that provided much needed relief.

When her phone beeped just after 8pm Saturday night, the undergraduate, who wanted to be known only as Miss Tay, was excited to see that it was a message from her sister. Her sister has been on the Philippine island of Boracay since Wednesday.

Speaking to The New Paper on Sunday over the phone, the 21-year-old said: "I tried calling my sister on Friday afternoon, but couldn't get through.

"We were worried, but not to the point of panic."

Miss Tay is just one of many here who tried to contact friends and family members in the typhoon-hit country, desperate to know that they are okay.

Her sister, 24, who was supposed to have returned today, said in the text message that she and her friends might have to spend an extra day in the Philippines as all flights had been cancelled.

She had mentioned the typhoon during a FaceTime call on Thursday night, and said that the hotel she was at had started sealing windows and glass panels in anticipation of the super storm.

But her family did not realise how serious it was until friends shared news reports with them.

Miss Tay said: "Even so, we trusted that she would be safe because the hotel would know what to do.

"We're relieved that she has made contact and confirmed that she's okay."

Computer-aided design engineer Jerome Navoa, a Singapore permanent resident from the Philippines, hoped his family home in northern Manila would be strong enough to withstand the wind and rain.

The 45-year-old said: "I've been monitoring the storm since it hit the Philippines.

It was really bad.

"I've only managed to communicate with my family through Facebook and they were a bit worried."

But now that the storm is said to be moving towards Vietnam, Mr Navoa is glad his family has escaped unscathed.

He said: "It's bittersweet to know that Typhoon Haiyan is moving. It's good that it has left the Philippines, but now it's going to hit other people."

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