Woman drives 600 miles, saves 27 typhoon victims in Philippines

Children hold signs asking for help and food along the highway, after Typhoon Haiyan hit Tabogon town in Cebu Province, central Philippines. Credit: Reuters
Children hold signs asking for help and food along the highway, after Typhoon Haiyan hit Tabogon town in Cebu Province, central Philippines.
Credit: Reuters

After not hearing from her family in the central Philippines for four days, Regina “Gina” Balosca Sculley knew she had to do something. So the 34-year-old woman rented a van and set off on a 600-mile journey to rescue her family members from a village ravaged by Typhoon Haiyan, reports NBC.

Her husband, Michael Sculley, told NBC, “It’s unbelievable, it’s like a movie.” The Sculleys live in Angeles City, near Manila, but Gina’s family lives just 30 miles away from Tacloban, one of the hardest hit areas. Sculley and seven of her friends left home Tuesday and drove a 12-seat van 600 miles to the south, passing through dangerous areas plagued by militia attacks and even a prison break.

Still, Sculley carried on with her mission and reached her hometown of MacArthur in Leyte province on Friday, where she found it flattened by Haiyan. She found her family members, and though they were sick and dehydrated, they were all alive. Sculley and her friends passed out 45 gallons of water, 110 pounds of rice and hundreds of dollars’ worth of nonperishable food and medicine to the villagers. Sculley said she wished she could have helped more people, but her relatives were her top priority.

A dozen of Sculley’s relatives and family friends squeezed into her van, while 15 others were given bus fare to get back to the north. The evacuees are now staying in an apartment near the Sculleys’ home as they figure out how to move forward.



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