300 Filipinos evacuated from flood-hit Calgary in Canada


06:41 PM June 25th, 2013

By: Tarra Quismundo, June 25th, 2013 06:41 PM

People gather in the Bowness neighbourhood looking down a water-filled street near the flooded Bow River in Calgary, Alberta, Canada June 22, 2013. Water levels have dropped slightly today. AFP/DAVE BUSTON

MANILA, Philippines — Some 300 Filipinos were evacuated amid unprecedented flooding in the city of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, a disaster that killed three and forced tens of thousands from their homes last week.

The Philippine Consulate in Vancouver has reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) that no Filipino was reported injured or killed when overflowing rivers inundated towns in Calgary, considered Canada’s oil capital.

“Our consulate is preparing to send a mission to assist the affected Filipinos, particularly by providing passport services to those who lost their documents in the flood,” said DFA spokesperson Assistant Secretary Raul Hernandez in a press briefing on Tuesday.

He said most of the evacuated Filipinos were temporary workers in Calgary’s oil fields. It was unclear whether all of them were together in one location, but members of the Filipino community have been providing them shelter, Hernandez said.

“Filipino community leaders in Calgary are providing assistance to these Filipinos by providing supplies like rice and other necessities and or shelter,” said the official.

He said Philippine Honorary Consul General to Calgary Ferdinand Aguirre was in close contact with Filipinos and those of Filipino descent in affected areas, estimated to number up to 30,000.

“Our Consulate in Vancouver and our Honorary Consul in Calgary are closely monitoring the situation and will continue to coordinate with local authorities to ensure that our kababayans in the affected areas are all safe and accounted for. The consulate has assured the Filipinos there of the consulate’s support,” Hernandez said.

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