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WDAY: The News Leader

Published November 11, 2013, 08:21 PM

Fargo family waiting to hear status of father living in Philippines

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - While news of death and destruction floods in after the typhoon in the Philippines, a Fargo man is watching closely; praying his father is alive.

By: Kay Cooley, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - While news of death and destruction floods in after the typhoon in the Philippines, a Fargo man is watching closely; praying his father is alive.

Don Lende, born and raised in Fargo, now lives in one of the worst-hit cities in the Philippines: Tacloban.

His family has not heard from him since the storm hit.

Dustin Lende- Father Missing in Philippines: "It's just scary."

The last time Dustin Lende saw his dad Don, he was dropping him off at the airport. Don Lende had big plans to move to the Philippines and start a family where Dustin says he was happy; until they spoke on Thursday.

Lende: "He said the winds were at least 150 miles an hour and he was kind of scared."

Don told him the biggest storm in history was coming.

And the very next day, Dustin and his family sat watching as it crippled his dad's town of Tacloban.

Lende: "There's no power, no electricity, no phones."

And still no word from his father, who lived just a block away from the ocean... Or anyone there who has seen him.

Brianna Lende- Grandpa Missing: "Scary and sad a little bit."

Dustin Lende: "Just shocked, and in disbelief that a town the size of Fargo; it's just wiped out."

So far, officials believe the death toll tops 10,000; hundreds already known to be dead... And Dustin, fearing for the unknown… His dad, new stepmom, and their 2-year-old son.

Dustin Lende: "And the biggest fear would be that even if they made it, they would be hurt."

And as soldiers search for life buried beneath the rubble and authorities try to calm hunger-stricken crowds...

Dustin Lende: "One of his last posts on Facebook was ‘kids don't come with an instruction manual but I did my best.’"

…Dustin dreams for the day he'll hear his father's voice again.

Dustin Lende: "I pray that he's okay and his family, my family."

The American Red Cross says at least two Fargo families have reached out to them looking for help finding family members in the Philippines. Anyone who believes a friend or family is missing there should contact them.

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