DFA checking on Filipinos in Mexico after major quake

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 20 2017 08:55 AM

Ambassador Eduardo Jose de Vega surveys damage sustained by the Philippine Embassy in Mexico. Photo by the Department of Foreign Affairs

MANILA - The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is still checking on the condition of Filipinos in Mexico following a magnitude 7.1 earthquake that killed at least 119 people on Wednesday.

In a statement, the DFA said authorities have been deployed to make sure the 60-member Filipino community in Mexico City are all safe and accounted for. 

Ambassador Eduardo Jose de Vega said staff members at the embassy were all safe but "a bit shaken" as they had to rush out of the eight-storey building as debris began to fall during the tremor. 

Ambassador Eduardo Jose de Vega surveys damage sustained by the Philippine Embassy in Mexico. Photo by the Department of Foreign Affairs

It was the second temblor Ambassador De Vega experienced within a two-week period as a magnitude 8.1 quake also struck the region and killed at least 54 people. 

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, meanwhile, said the Philippines is offering sympathies and prayers to the people of Mexico, especially those who lost loved ones to the disaster. 

"The people of Mexico are again in our thoughts and prayers today," said Cayetano who is in New York to attend the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly. 

"We offer our sympathies to the Mexican Government and to those who lost their loved ones in this tragedy," Cayetano added in his statement. 

The second powerful earthquake to hit Mexico this month has also toppled buildings in the heavily populated capital where rescuers searched frantically for survivors under the rubble.

Thousands of people ran out into the streets in panic, and millions lost electricity when the quake struck around lunchtime. Authorities are still expecting the number of casualties to rise. 

The quake hit 32 years to the day since a devastating earthquake killed thousands in Mexico City in 1985. Many Mexicans had participated in earthquake drills around the nation on Tuesday as is customary every Sept. 19.