DFA: 136 Pinoys displaced by ‘Irma’
More than a hundred Filipinos have been displaced in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), as Hurricane Irma ravaged the Caribbean, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Monday.
The DFA has sent a team to Washington D.C. in the United States to hasten the rescue of 136 Filipinos stranded in the BVI, which has been wrecked by the cyclone over the weekend.
“We are dispatching more personnel to fast track the repatriation of more than a hundred Filipinos displaced in the Caribbean and assist those in the United States who would be affected by Hurricane Irma,” DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said in a statement.
The team, according to Cayetano, will bring emergency relief supplies and make arrangements for the repatriation of the stranded Filipinos, possibly via chartered aircraft.
The five-member team from the Office of Migrant Workers Affair led by Undersecretary Sarah Lou Arriola will be joined by four personnel from the Philippine Consulates General in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago.
The DFA said the team is now in Puerto Rico awaiting go-signal to proceed to BVI’s capital, Tortola.
According to Philippine Embassy in Miami Chargé d’Affaires Patrick Chuasoto, there are no reported Filipino casualties of Hurricane Irma in Florida.
“The Embassy and the Honorary Consulate in Miami continue to monitor the situation in Florida and neighboring states that would be impacted by Hurricane Irma,” Cayetano said.
The DFA chief then commended Filipinos who also reached out to others affected by ‘Irma’.
“We are heartened to hear all about these gestures that truly prove that the spirit of bayanihan is still very much alive among our kababayans wherever they are in the world,” Cayetano said.
Packing maximum winds of 260-miles-per-hour, Hurricane Irma has wreaked havoc in the Carribean, including the countries of Anguilla, Saint Maarten, and Cuba. /kga
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