Latest Stories

310,000 Fil-Ams in harm’s way due to Hurricane Sandy


Viewers react as waves crash against a seawall near homes in Scituate, Mass. Monday, Oct. 29, 2012. Hurricane Sandy continued on its path Monday, as the storm forced the shutdown of mass transit, schools and financial markets, sending coastal residents fleeing, and threatening a dangerous mix of high winds and soaking rain. AP Photo/Elise Amendola

LOS ANGELES—Filipino-American teacher Maryann Abdon vividly remembers the whipping winds, pelting rains and mass evacuations when Hurricane “Irene” struck the US East Coast last year.

“It was terrifying,” said Abdon, who fled her home, about 5 kilometers from the bay in Cape May, New Jersey. “But this one (Hurricane ‘Sandy’) scares us more. We expect it to be really, really bad.”

Hurricane “Sandy” is expected to make landfall Monday night (Tuesday morning in Manila) near the southern New Jersey coast, prompting widespread evacuations and mass transit shutdowns.

The National Hurricane Center said Sandy was expected to bring “life-threatening storm surge flooding” to the East Coast.

The storm surge is expected to be as high as 3.3 meters in some areas, including Jersey City, New Jersey, which has a large Filipino-American community.

The Philippine Embassy on Monday issued an advisory urging Filipinos on the East Coast to “take all necessary precautions and brace themselves” for what has been described as the biggest storm in recent history.

The embassy said the advisory was sent to 11 states in the superstorm’s path. There are an estimated 310,000 Filipinos living in those states, according to the embassy.

Myrielle Falguera, a medical office administrator who lives in the seaside community of Long Beach, New York, said many Filipinos in the area had already been evacuated.

“Some friends and I decided to stay behind,” Falguera said. “It’s already cold and windy here. I hope we don’t lose electricity.”

Washington resident Arnedo Valera said his family stocked up on water, nonperishable food items, batteries and other essentials as early as Friday when they first heard about the approaching hurricane.

“We’re glad we made early preparations,” he said. “We heard some grocery stores have run out of food items.”

Advisory forwarded

Valera, a lawyer and community leader who volunteers for the legal team of President Barack Obama’s local campaign, said he removed his “Vote for Obama” signs on his lawn in anticipation of strong winds and heavy rains. He said campaign activities were suspended.

Valera said his nonprofit group, Migrant Heritage Commission, forwarded the embassy’s advisory, along with government-issued emergency preparedness guidelines, to thousands of Filipinos by e-mail.

The National Federation of Filipino American Associations on the East Coast also distributed the embassy’s advisory to its members, said Washington-based Bing Branigin, the group’s assistant director of communications.

“We have full confidence in the government’s readiness to respond to emergencies,” Branigin said. “But we still have to remind community members not to be complacent and to be prepared.”

Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Cuisia Jr. said the embassy and the Philippine Consulate General in New York activated 24-hour help desks to assist Filipino tourists traveling to the East Coast who may be affected by the hurricane.

“We advise our [countrymen in places on] the path of Hurricane Sandy to stay indoors and avoid unnecessary travel until the storm has passed,” Cuisia said.

The advisory was sent to Filipino communities in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, District of Columbia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.

Filipinos who need assistance may call the embassy’s duty officer at (202) 368-2767 or the Consulate General in New York at (917) 294-0196, the advisory said.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: East Coast , Filipino Americans , Global Nation , Hurricane “Sandy” , Overseas Filipinos , storm , US , weather

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Camilla’s brother dies of NYC head injury
  • Nepal officials go to Everest to try to end crisis
  • Escudero ready to defend self should name appear in Napoles’ list
  • Obama calls for peaceful end to island dispute
  • Russia not abiding by agreement on Ukraine—Obama
  • Sports

  • Promoters Dela Hoya, Arum in talks for Pacquiao-Alvarez—report
  • Benzema guides Madrid to 1-0 win over Bayern
  • Suns’ Goran Dragic win NBA’s Most Improved Player award
  • Heat go up 2-0, hold off Bobcats 101-97
  • Ronaldo shakes off injury fears to play Bayern
  • Lifestyle

  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  • Entertainment

  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • Business

  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • PH-HK relations repaired, but families of victims still being courted
  • Filipinos in Middle East urged to get clearance before returning
  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Marketplace