City Council Observes Moment of Silence for Typhoon Haiyan

The Los Angeles City Council paused for a moment of silence during Tuesday's council meeting in honor of those who are dealing with the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell was joined by his council colleagues, Consul General Hellen Barber De La Vega, and members of the Filipino community from the 13th District for the tribute.

"We must not forget what happened," said O'Farrell. "I encourage everyone to do what they can to help the Philippines."

Two members of the delegation held signs that read 'thank you, Angelenos' for the continued support since the storm hit.

The island nation was struck by one of the strongest typhoons in recorded history earlier this month. Typhoon Haiyan --or the local name Typhoon Yolanda-- slammed the Tacloban shoreline and destroyed homes and businesses.

Reports indicate there are an estimated 2.5 million people who are in need of emergency food assistance.

"Relief operations in the Philippines are in 24 hour full swing," said Barber de la Vega. "This is made possible because of the overwhelming support and generosity of governments, of communities, and even in our own city of Los Angeles."

The Consul General also noted that in less than 12 hours after news that the storm hit, a medical mission took off from Los Angeles International Airport. Barber de la Vega called the City of Angels a "gateway for disaster relief operations."

Following the tribute, the Councilmember introduced a resolution which calls for the federal government to take the necessary action to allow Filipino nationals to remain working or going to school in the U.S., regardless of when their visas expire, until the Philippines recovers from Typhoon Haiyan.

The City of Los Angeles has one of the largest populations of Filipino immigrants in the United States, and a large number of Filipino non-profit organizations make their home in the Historic Filipinotown neighborhood of the 13th District.

O'Farrell has a list of several relief organizations that need donations on his blog.

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