Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Philippine Embassy in Tokyo: Filipino community members pool resources to help those affected by quake

A March 14, 2011 press release by the Department of Foreign Affairs

The Philippine Embassy in Tokyo reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) that Filipino community members are reaching out to those who were affected by the 8.9 magnitude earthquake that struck Japan on March 11.

“Filipinos in Tokyo, Osaka and Western Japan are deemed relatively safe. In fact some of them have pooled their efforts and resources in helping those who were adversely affected by the quake,” Ambassador Manuel Lopez said.

According to the consular team which was dispatched Sunday by the Embassy to Sendai city, there are so far no Filipinos among the recorded fatalities.

The Embassy team arrived in Sendai city shortly before midnight of Sunday (local time), where they touched base with 10 Filipino students from the Tohoku University, all of whom are safe.

The team is going around Sendai today, Monday. They went to two evacuation centers—the Tachimachi Elementary School and the Kimachidori Elementary School–where they found Filipinos there in safe condition. The message board of the evacuation centers also contained the Embassy’s contact details should there be a need to establish contact.

The team also reported that the 30 seafarers earlier brought to Fukushima by their company after the quake are now on their way to the Narita airport.

“We are likewise sending another team to Sendai and Morioka today to personally get in touch with the local authorities so we can further gauge the extent of damage this disaster has brought on among our fellow Filipinos living in the quake-affected areas. They will be bringing relief goods such as food and water for our nationals,” Ambassador Lopez said.

Earlier, Ambassador Lopez was able to contact Filipino community leaders in Hokkaido, who reported that Filipinos in the eastern part of Hokkaido, namely Kushido, Nemuro, Abashiri and Hakodate, are safe.

He likewise reiterated that the Embassy is on a 24-hour operation to immediately respond to the calls of Filipino nationals who are in emergency situations.

Earlier, the Embassy issued an advisory to the Filipino community to take necessary precautions and report to the Embassy or the Philippine Consulates nearest them any incident of injuries or fatalities among Filipinos.

The advisory also reiterated the advice of Japanese authorities for them to proceed to city halls or fire stations in cases of emergency so they can receive immediate instructions and care.

In Manila, upon the direction of Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario, the DFA Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (DFA-OUMWA) has activated a Crisis Management Center for families who have relatives in Japan.

Undersecretary Esteban B. Conejos is leading the efforts in support of the work of the Embassy in Tokyo and the five Consulates in Japan.

Philippine Embassy officers and staff in Tokyo, as well as those in the Consulate General in Osaka headed by Consul General Maria Lourdes Ramiro-Lopez and the Honorary Consulates in Sapporo, Morioka, Nagoya and Naha, are reaching out to Filipino community leaders and members, as well as quickly responding to requests for assistance or information.

In Osaka, the Consulate General there reported that as of today, there are no reports of any casualties among the Filipino nationals in the 28 prefectures under its jurisdiction.

The Embassy and the Consulates are maintaining close contact with city and prefectural governments, and have full personnel complements ready to mobilize and provide assistance.

Filipinos may contact the following Embassy numbers in cases of emergency: (03)5562-1573, (03)5562-1574, (03)5562-1570, (03)5562-1590. The Embassy can also be reached by email through: emergency@philembassy.net.

The consulates’ hotlines are as follows: (06) 6910-7881 for the Philippine Consulate General in Osaka, (011) 614-8090 for the Honorary Consulate in Sapporo, and (019) 629-9139 for the Honorary Consulate in Morioka.

The hotline numbers at the DFA-OUMWA’s Crisis Management Center are 834-4646 and 834-4580. Requests for information may also be sent through e-mail address
dfaoumwa.cmc@gmail.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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