Social media brings relief to families of Philippines missionari - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Social media brings relief to families of Philippines missionaries

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When Jon Richardson saw the radar pictures of Typhoon Haiyan, he knew the aftermath would look a lot like what everyone is now seeing.

"To see the picture of how big the storm was compared to the Philippines concerned me a whole lot more," said Richardson.

But that concern turned to relief as Richardson heard from his sister's family, who were in the region on a church mission.

"They lost power and water and actually had to stay in a local hotel last night and the night before," said Richardson.

Their church received some damage and must be checked by an engineer, but they credit prayers from here in the Midlands and across the US with sparing their island. Others weren't as lucky.

Allison Phillips still doesn't know how her uncle's house is, just that the family survived.

"We did get messages through Facebook that they were okay; shaken, very shaken," said Phillips.

They'd moved from this house near the beach to a house more inland.

"Just knowing that they weren't right across the street from the ocean was huge," said Phillips.

Neither family has been able to talk with most communication running through social media, but they say for now it's enough to know they're okay.

The Red Cross has links to a 1-800 number to the State Department for those who haven't been able to get word from family and friends and are still worried about their whereabouts.  There are several relief efforts underway and more to come as the situation continues to be assessed.

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