Devastating pictures from family of CBS News 8 producer - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Devastating pictures from family of CBS News 8 producer

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - CBS News 8's associate producer Al Columbo got the good news that his relatives in the Philippines survived the record typhoon that hit the island nation. He's sharing the up-close photos they took of the devastation.

"I'm glad they are alive, but I know the suffering has just begun," he said.

The aftermath of the typhoon, captured in pictures taken by his cousin Charis, is hard to grasp.

"But then when I saw the pictures of the house, it was worse than I had imagined," Columbo said. "The roof is gone and all the leaves are stripped off all the trees."

One of the strongest storms ever recorded left Charis' house in shambles, all except for a wooden kitchen table.

"They dove in under the table and everything fell on top of them," Columbo said.

The table was handmade by Al's grandfather. It protected the family through 60 minutes of sustained winds of 220 miles an hour.

"Charis says was just holding onto her kids with all her might," Columbo said.

It was a miracle they survived, a ray of hope Al had been praying for.

"The one thing he left on this earth that you can actually touch and feel is the one that protected my cousins from the worst of the storm," he said.

Yet Al is honest about the worst of the storm that has yet to come -- food, shelter and aid.

"I feel very helpless. I wish there was something I could do," he said.

His cousins, who have five small children, have not been able to eat for days.

"I feel really guilty about having it so good here and I wish there was something more I can do," Columbo said.

Al says he has been looking into ways to send money to Charis' family, but even if he did that, he says the infrastructure is so severely damaged, Charis would not have a store of shop where she would be able to buy food for her family.

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