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TACLOBAN, Philippines–At least 28 people were killed on Christmas Day in the Philippines when Typhoon Ursula hit the islands. In Indiana, you’re being asked to donate money to the Red Cross, rather than sending it, or items like water to the Philippines.

“What we would do is donate the money to the Red Cross, because it gets convoluted when you start sending money to the Philippines,” said Maria Manalang, talking to WISH TV. She’s the program director for the International Marketplace in Indianapolis.

She said Filipino people are used to violent tropical weather. What they will never get used to is people being killed by that weather.

“Filipinos are very resilient. As far as natural disasters, we experience on a yearly basis.”

Manalang said the holiday may have saved lives. The Philippines are largely Catholic.

“With Christmas Day happening, most of the people are in church and so the structure of the church is mostly much more solid than the houses.”

Many people who live in the mountains may not have internet or a way to contact family in places like Indiana. Manalang said the disorganization in the country is one of the reasons that sending money or relief items directly to the Philippines isn’t a good idea.

Manalang said you can donate to the Red Cross with a note that the money is meant for the Philippines and Typhoon Ursula relief.

From an interview by WISH TV’s Katiera Winfrey