MANILA - At least 200 Filipinos living in several Caribbean Islands hit by powerful Hurricane Irma will be repatriated next week, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Wednesday.
"There are now as many as 236 of our Kababayans from various parts of the Caribbean who have asked to be repatriated," Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said in a statement.
Records from the Philippine Embassy in Washington showed that "160 to 180 Filipinos are waiting to be repatriated from the British Virgin Islands, 20 from Anguilla, and another 36 from St. Martin," Cayetano said.
The Philippine government is set to charter an aircraft that would transport the stranded Filipinos to Manila on Monday, he added.
Cayetano said response teams that would oversee repatriation efforts have been dispatched from the embassy in Washington to affected communities.
Food vouchers and relief items were also distributed to Filipino communities in Tortola and St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, Cayetano said.
The record-breaking Category 5 storm, the strongest ever Atlantic hurricane outside of the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, left a trail of devastation in the Caribbean islands, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico and Florida in the United States.
No Filipino was reported killed in the onslaught of Irma, but the Embassy said it is monitoring the condition of a Filipino who "suffered serious injuries after he fell while clearing debris at his workplace" in Turks and Caicos.