PH offers $250,000 for victims of Superstorm Sandy

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This photo provided by 6abc Action News shows the Inlet section of Atlantic City, New Jersey, as Hurricane Sandy makes it approach, Monday. AP/6abc Action News

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine government has offered $250,000 to help the victims of Superstorm Sandy which wreaked havoc in the US east coast.

“Thank you government of the Philippines which will donate $250,000 to the American Red Cross to help victims of Hurricane Sandy. True partners and friends!,” US Ambassador Harry Thomas said in his official Twitter account late Wednesday.

Sandy, the worst storm to hit the US region, has claimed more than 60 lives and left billions of dollars in damages.

The Philippine embassy in Washington in a statement urged Filipino victims of the super storm to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions as the dangers posed by the disaster were not over.

Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Cuisia noted that although Sandy weakened since making landfall Monday evening, the “on-going disaster” continued to bring rains and strong winds that could pose serious threats to populated areas while making its way towards Canada in the next two days.

“We would like to remind our kababayans, particularly those in New Jersey and New York, to remain in their homes until such time that authorities say that it is safe for them to venture out,” Cuisia said, warning that affected populations face risks from flood waters and downed trees and power lines.

He added that members of the Filipino Community in the affected areas should wait until basic services such as power and transport had been restored before leaving the safety of their homes.

The embassy and the Philippine Consulate General in New York also said they did not receive any reports of Filipino casualties in the region, but that an undetermined number of Filipinos were evacuated in Atlantic City, Jersey City, New Milford and other areas in New Jersey as well as in City Island and Staten Island in New York due to flood waters.

Consul General Mario de Leon, meanwhile,  noted that  reports from the leaders of the Filipino community also indicated that a large number of Filipinos were among the 8.5 million people in 13 states that suffered from power outages.

He said there were also reports several Filipinos sustained some damage to their homes in Nassau and Queens counties in New York as well as in Hamden and Stamford in Connecticut as a result of violent winds and storm surges.

In Connecticut and Long Island, some Filipinos were also reported to be running low on potable water while many others in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, had no internet, telephone or cellular phone connectivity, said De Leon.

The embassy and the Consulate General in New York said they continued to monitor the situation on a 24-hour-basis and had placed teams on standby to assist Filipinos.  The two posts also remained in touch with leaders of the Filipino community in the affected areas.

The Philippine Consulate General in Chicago headed by Consul General Leo Herrera-Lim has also urged the Filipinos in Ohio and Michigan to make the necessary preparations as the storm continues to move towards the Great Lakes region and Canada.

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