11/08/2013 07:17 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 10:53 EST

Superstorm Haiyan leaves Vancouver Filipino's anxious for news

Members of Vancouver's Filipino community are anxiously awaiting news from family and friends after one of the strongest storms every recorded slammed into the Philippines on Friday.

A string of islands — including Samar, Leye, Cebu and Panay — were battered with gusts of up to 379 kilometres per hour, making the storm the strongest ever to make landfall in recorded history, according to meteorologists, and the fourth strongest ever recorded on earth.

Officials say because power and communications were knocked out, it's impossible to know the full extent of casualties and damage, but at least four people have been reported dead and hundreds of thousands have been forced from their homes.

Mable Elmore, the NDP MLA for Vancouver Kensington says the Filipino community is in shock.

"There's limited responses coming through on social media and I think people are quite anxiously watching the news, Twitter and Facebook for any type of indication from those affected areas in the Philippines."

Elmore says the community here is now rallying to raise money for the victims.

"There are fund raising efforts underway. Red Cross is taking donations.  Also there's a local group my grand TPC. They have ongoing fund raising efforts."

One hundred and forty-four people died last month when a 7.2 earthquake shook the same part of the country.