PH consular officials monitor Texas blast

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03:20 AM April 19th, 2013

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April 19th, 2013 03:20 AM

MANILA, Philippines—Philippine consular officials in the United States were contacting Filipino community leaders in Texas to check if the deadly fertilizer plant explosion in the town of West affected any Filipino resident, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Thursday.

There are some 160,000 Filipinos and Filipino-Americans in Texas but most are based in the cities of Houston and Dallas, DFA spokesman Raul Hernandez said.

He said the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C., and the Philippine consulate in Los Angeles were closely following the situation. “The consulate is now trying to get in touch with Filipino community leaders to determine if there are Filipinos affected by the explosion,” he said.

Consul General Hellen Barber-de la Vega told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that most of the Filipinos in Texas were in the central and southern parts of the state and that there was “minimal presence” of Filipinos in the west of the state.

“We are monitoring developments,” said De la Vega, whose jurisdiction covers Texas, southern California, southern Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico.—Reports from Tarra Quismundo in Manila and Nimfa U. Rueda in Los Angeles, California

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