No Filipinos hurt in Irma-battered Caribbean


Posted at Sep 09 2017 09:39 PM

A US Air Force reserve citizen airman at Keesler Air Force Base, home of the weather reconnaissance squadron know as "Hurricane Hunters" in Mississippi. Their mission is to fly into the eye of Hurricane Irma. On Saturday, the Philippine embassy in the US advised Filipinos in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina to evacuate as instructed by US authorities. Kevin Lamarque, Reuters

MANILA—The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Saturday said no Filipinos were hurt in the Caribbean islands on the path of Hurricane Irma, which left at least 21 dead.

"We thank God that our kababayans in the Caribbean have been spared and we continue to pray that those still in the path of Irma be kept safe," Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said in a statement.

The DFA said the Philippine Embassy in Washington is prepared to assist 264 Filipinos in the British Virgin Islands who need aid or who want to be repatriated.

However, Filipinos are reportedly having difficulty accessing food, water and shelter, according to embassy chargé d'affaires Patrick Chuasoto.

"We are constantly trying to establish and maintain communication with members of the Filipino community in the disaster-stricken areas," he said.

The embassy has also advised 2,000 Filipinos in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina to evacuate as instructed by US authorities.

The DFA said about 3,000 Filipinos reside in the affected islands of Anguilla, Antigua, Bahamas, Barbuda, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, Turks and Caicos, the British Virgin Islands, and the US Virgin Islands. 

Filipinos who need assistance may call the embassy's emergency hotline at +1-202-368-2767. --With reports from Reuters