Filipinos in the UAE were in a state of shock and worry as the flash floods that swept through Manila in the Philippines went from bad to worse.
Already 11 people have been confirmed dead and over a million have been displaced.
For some Filipinos in the UAE the horror of the floods is much closer to home.
Christina Ababan Pena has spent all day and night trying to get through to her parents.
“I have been calling them the whole day yesterday.
The telephone lines keep ringing but nobody answers so you don’t even know if they are working or not.
“Finally I managed to get through to one of our relatives on the mobile last night,” says Pena.
When she got through the situation was dire.
“They are now stranded on the roof. That is the last I spoke to them,” she tells this website, almost in tears.
With the death toll and devastation set to rise, the Filipino community in Dubai and the Northern Emirates is gearing up to help.
A senior official from the Philippines Consulate in Dubai this morning told Emirates 247 that the initiative has started and more details will be released soon.
“The President of the Community in Dubai and the Northern Emirates has informed that they are planning to assist with relief work,” the official said.
More than half a million Filipinos are living and working in the UAE.
Wilfredo Aguilar of Filipino Digerati Association, a voluntary organisation that digitally connect expatriates from the country said, “We are still gathering information. We will decide on a course of action soon,” he said.