Hurricane Irma displaces more than 100 Filipinos in the Caribbean
More than a hundred Filipinos have been displaced in the British Virgin Islands as Hurricane Irma ravaged the Caribbean, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Monday.
The DFA has sent a team to Washington, DC, in the United States to fast track the rescue of 136 Filipinos stranded in the British Virgin Islands, which has been wrecked by the superstorm 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,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said in a statement.
The team would bring emergency relief supplies and make arrangements for repatriation of the stranded Filipinos, possibly via chartered aircraft, the Cayetano said.
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 team is now in Puerto Rico waiting for the go-signal to proceed to Tortola, British Virgin Island’s financial center ravaged by the storm.
According to Chargé d’Affaires Patrick Chuasoto of the Philippine Embassy in Miami there were no Filipinos reported yet among the 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 secretary also commended the Filipinos who reached out to the people affected by the storm.
“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,” he said.
Packing winds blowing up to 298 kph (185-mph), Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc in the Carribean, including the countries of Anguilla, Saint Maarten, and Cuba.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.