Local man missing after Philippine typhoon

ROCHESTER -- A Kirkland man may have been caught in one of the strongest storms ever recorded in the Philippines, and his family in Thurston County is desperate to reach him.

The timing couldn't have been worse for Gregg Anderson. He showed up in the Philippines to celebrate his 50th birthday, according to his sister, Dianna Schneider.

"He wanted to go and do something fantastic," she said.

Just as he arrived, Typhoon Haiyan slammed into the city of Tacloban. Anderson was there making his way to a beach villa farther east. Family members worry the mortgage banker from Kirkland got caught in a storm that is estimated to have killed 10,000 people or more, and forced hundreds of thousands of people to seek humanitarian help. Anderson's family says he unwittingly headed to the heart of it.

"That is the same day they had the mandatory evacuations set up so I don't know if they allowed them to go back to the villa," the sister said. "I hope and I pray they didn't."

The trouble is that there's no way to tell because cell phone towers are down, and the communication infrastructure destroyed. For now, Anderson's family will just have to wait out this epic catastrophe, and hope the phone will ring with Anderson safe on the other side.

"He could be digging people out," his sister said. "We just want to make sure he's alive, that's all."