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29/10/2012: Filipinos Flee as Floodwaters Enter Homes in New Jersey, New York

2300H, 29 October 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Filipinos were not spared from the wrath of what is said to be one of the worst storms to hit the United States as many of them were forced to flee their homes or are now without power, according to initial reports reaching the Philippine Embassy.

Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia said that although 10 deaths have initially been attributed to Hurricane Sandy, neither the Philippine Embassy nor the Philippine Consulate General in New York has received any report of possible Filipino casualties.

He said both the Embassy and the Consulate General remain in touch with Filipino Community leaders to check on the situation of the more than 460,000 Filipinos in 13 states across the eastern seaboard that bore the brunt of the hurricane.

The envoy said a team is on 24-hour-standby at the Embassy to respond to any request for assistance from Filipinos affected by the typhoon; monitor the progress of the storm; and receive updates from the Filipino Community.

Ambassador Cuisia said reports from the Filipino Community indicate that a number of Filipinos in New Jersey and New York fled their homes due to floodwaters that the superstorm spawned shortly before it made landfall near Cape May in the southern coast of New Jersey at eight this evening.

Ambassador Cuisia said the Embassy has received reports that an undetermined number of Filipinos have been affected by floodwaters in Atlantic City, Jersey City, Keansburg and New Milford in New Jersey and in Inwood in Long Island, New York. He said a number of Filipinos evacuated but others could not leave their homes.

He said thousands more of Filipinos are among the 1.5 million people who are now without power in Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine and Ohio. Authorities said the power outage could last several days.

In South Carolina, the officers and crew of the BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF16) emerged unscathed from the storm that struck the Charleston area where the warship is being refurbished and refitted, according to Brig. Gen. Cesar Yano, the Embassy’s Defense and Armed Forces Attache.

Earlier today, the Embassy issued an advisory to Filipinos in Ohio and Michigan for them to take the necessary precautions as Hurricane Sandy is expected to bring strong winds and high waves in the Great Lakes region. ###