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Local pastor leaves Philippines days before storm hits

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Airline Baptist Church Associate Pastor Harrell Shelton mission trip in the Philippines Airline Baptist Church Associate Pastor Harrell Shelton mission trip in the Philippines
BOSSIER CITY, La. (KTBS) -

Survivors of super typhoon Haiyan are pouring out of the city of Tacloban in the Philippines.

Their community has been mostly flattened by what is thought to be the most ferocious storm ever to make landfall.

Authorities say they've counted almost 1,800 people who died but some people in the region say the total could be as high as 10,000. Now, survivors face a new battle to stay alive. They're desperate for food, clean water and shelter. Rescue workers are doing their best to help but some areas are hard to get to.

A local minister was in the Philippines just days before the terrible typhoon. Associate Pastor of Airline Baptist Church in Bossier City, Harrell Shelton, was in the Philippines on a mission trip just days before the typhoon hit. Shelton says he's been to the island nation nine times in the last decade and never experienced anything like the days leading up to the storm.

"It's kind of an odd thing. You pray for your safety that it doesn't come your way but then you feel bad because if it doesn't come your way, then it's going somebody else's way" says Shelton.

Shelton got back to the states Sunday night. He says there are continued prayers for those devastated by this terrible storm.

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