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Big Country resident in desperate search of missing family members in Philippines

Published On: Dec 24 2013 03:15:45 PM CST   Updated On: Nov 15 2013 10:35:32 AM CST
ABILENE, Texas -

While efforts to bring aide to the Philippines continue, one Big Country resident remains in search for her uncle, who is still unaccounted for. 

Justin Benz's uncle, Thomas Malick, lives in Ormoc City with his wife and four young children.

Benz hasn't heard from him since the typhoon hit.

"We've tried to call both numbers," Benz said. "My mom's tried to call the Red Cross, my aunt's emailed the Embassy and she hasn't heard back from them."

Ormoc City sits right on the bay; aid groups in the region say that more than 90 percent of the city's structures have been damaged or destroyed.

"I just lost my grandfather two months ago and to lose another family member...I'm just devastated," Benz said.

In the meantime, Benz said she relies on faith.

"And I'm praying for the first couple times in my life and that's all we can do," she said. "Just wait and pray."

"I hope we hear something and they're safe, especially my cousins," Benz said. "I hope that they, their whole lives aren't destroyed, just like everybody else. I hope everyone's okay."

If the unimaginable happens, Benz said she doesn't know what she'll do.

"I couldn't tell you that," she said. "I don't know what we would do it that was the case."

Benz said her uncle owns a taxi business in the region and that his home was made of concrete and was much sturdier than the other housing around him.

We spoke directly with the American Red Cross and here's the information they provided about their efforts in the Philippines: 

The Red Cross launched its "Restoring Family Links" program to help families in the Big Country located their missing loved ones. 

To find immediate family members, you're to call 1-888-407-4747.

The Red Cross has established a "Pacific Typhoon" appeal at www.redcross.org

So far, the organization has contributed $6 million to support the relief efforts.