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No Filipino casualties in US superstorm

Publication Date : 01-11-2012


Filipinos were among the thousands forced to flee their homes or were without power in New Jersey and New York in the aftermath Hurricane Sandy’s devastation of the US East Coast but no casualties from Philippine communities have been reported so far, the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC said yesterday.

The Embassy and the Philippine Consulate General in New York have not received any reports of Filipino casualties as initial accounts of deaths and injuries were gathered in the aftermath of the hurricane, Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Cuisia said in a statement issued 11pm Tuesday (11am Wednesday in Manila).

Citing early reports, Cuisia said “a number of Filipinos” in the two states left their homes due to floodwaters just before the superstorm made landfall in the southern coast of New Jersey on Tuesday night.

An “undetermined number” of Filipinos either evacuated or could not leave their homes in flooded areas of Atlantic City, Jersey City, Keansburg and New Milford in New Jersey and Inwood in Long Island, New York, the Embassy said.

Filipino-American families are also among some 1.5 million people enduring power outages that could last several days in the east coast states of Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine and Ohio, Cuisia said.

Officers and crew of BRP Ramon Alcaraz, a former US Coast Guard ship now being refurbished and refitted for transfer to the Philippines early next year, “emerged unscathed” after the hurricane hit close to where the warship was docked in Charleston, South Carolina, said Philippine Defence and Armed Forces attaché in the US Brig. Gen. Caesar Yano.

While they suspended operations because of the superstorm, the Philippine Embassy and the Consulate General continued to monitor the situation of some 460,000 Filipinos in the 13 storm-hit states by keeping in touch with Filipino community leaders.

Cuisia said embassy and consulate officials were on round-the-clock standy status to respond to any emergency or assistance requests from Filipinos in the affected areas.


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