MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. and the Consulate General in New York have yet to receive reports of possible Filipino casualties following the onslaught of superstorm Sandy in the east coast.
Ambassador Jose Cuisia said Sandy has claimed 10 lives, cut power and forced many to flee their homes.
There are more than 460,000 Filipinos in 13 states across the eastern seaboard that bore the brunt of Sandy.
Cuisia said a team is on 24-hour-standby at the embassy to respond to any request for assistance from Filipinos affected by the typhoon; monitor the progress of the storm; and receive updates from the Filipino Community.
Reports from the Filipino community indicate that a number of Filipinos in New Jersey and New York fled their homes due to floodwaters that the superstorm spawned shortly before it made landfall near Cape May in the southern coast of New Jersey.
Cuisia also said the embassy has received reports that an undetermined number of Filipinos have been affected by floodwaters in Atlantic City, Jersey City, Keansburg and New Milford in New Jersey and in Inwood in Long Island, New York. He said a number of Filipinos evacuated but others could not leave their homes.
He added that thousands more of Filipinos are among the 1.5 million people who are now without power in Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine and Ohio. Authorities said the power outage could last several days.
In South Carolina, the officers and crew of the BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF16) emerged unscathed from the storm that struck the Charleston area where the warship is being refurbished and refitted, according to Brig. Gen. Cesar Yano, the embassy’s Defense and Armed Forces Attache.
The embassy also issued an advisory to Filipinos in Ohio and Michigan for them to take the necessary precautions as the storm is expected to bring strong winds and high waves in the Great Lakes region.