MANILA (UPDATED) — Philippine officials are monitoring the situation in Morocco, but there have so far been no reports of Filipinos injured or killed in the earthquake there on Friday that left at least 2,000 dead, Department of Migrant Workers officer-in-charge Hans Leo Cacdac said Sunday.
Speaking to Teleradyo Serbisyo, Cacdac said the labor attache in Rabat and the Department of Foreign Affairs are checking on around 2,000 Filipinos in the North African country.
"Tayo siyempre ay nakikiisa at nakikiramay sa bansang Morocco at ang mamamayang apektado. Pero, so far, walang reported na OFWs affected and we continue to monitor the situation on the ground," Cacdac said.
"We've been coordinating with the DFA, si Undersecretary Ed De Vega," he said.
The Philippine Embassy in Morocco said on its Facebook account on Saturday that there had been no reports of Filipinos injured in the earthquake.
Philippine Ambassador to Morocco Leslie Baja said that in Marrakesh, from which around 72 kilometers away the 6.8-magnitude quake struck late Friday, some 50 Filipinos are residing.
The envoy said that in Rabat, where he is based and which is located around 400 kilometers away from Marrakesh, the tremor was also felt.
"Nasa bahay na ako nu'n, nanonood lang ako ng TV, nakaupo ako sa sofa, na parang yumuyugyog na," Baja told Teleradyo Serbisyo on Saturday afternoon.
The embassy said it was already in contact with the Filipino community there.
"[R]emain calm and alert for any aftershocks, monitor local news, and be aware of local emergency numbers in their respective communities as added precautionary measure," the embassy said.
Filipinos in Morocco can reach the embassy through its Assistance to Nationals hotline (+212 694202178) on mobile and WhatsApp and through Facebook Messenger, the embassy said.
Cacdac said there is a "good number" of Filipino workers in Morocco, with most of them hired as skilled workers, household workers or teachers.
"Of course, may Overseas Filipinos din na nandoon, yung mga hindi necessarily workers but married to Moroccan nationals."
Baja said there are around 4,600 Filipinos there.
Globe offers roaming, prepaid load assistance
Meanwhile, Globe said Sunday it is offering assistance to its customers in quake-hit Morocco in the form of postpaid roaming credits and free prepaid load.
To avail of the free roaming services, Globe said subscribers need to connect to its roaming partners, Orange and Inwi.
"This will allow Globe customers to use its roaming services to make or receive calls, and send text messages to all networks while in Morocco," Globe said in a release.
AFP, quoting Morocco's interior ministry, reported early Sunday that at least 2,012 have been killed in the quake. Most of the dead are in the Al-Haouz and Taroudant provinces.
Another 2,059 people were injured, with 1,404 in critical condition.
— with reports from Agence France-Presse