MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine government yesterday donated some $250,000 to the American Red Cross, in an effort to help the victims of superstorm “Sandy” in the US East Coast.
US Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr. confirmed the Philippine flood aid in his Twitter account.
“Thank you Gov. of the Philippines who will donate $250 K to the American Red Cross to help victims of Hurricane Sandy. True partners and friends!” Thomas said in his tweet yesterday.
The hurricane, which slammed the US East Coast on Tuesday, claimed 55 lives in eight states and billions in property damage.
Meanwhile, the Philippine embassy in Washington advised yesterday Filipinos caught in the path of hurricane Sandy to remain vigilant and take the necessary precautions since the danger posed by the storm is not yet over.
Ambassador Jose Cuisia Jr. said that although Sandy has weakened since making landfall on Monday evening in New Jersey, it continues to bring rains and strong winds that could pose serious threats to populated areas as it heads toward Canada in the next two days.
“Sandy is a disaster still ongoing,” Cuisia said in a statement as he appealed to the Filipino community to make sure that none of the estimated 460,000 Filipinos in the US East Coast will end up as casualties, even as the death toll of the storm climbed to 55.
“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 floodwaters, downed trees and power lines.
He said members of the Filipino community in the affected areas should wait until basic services such as power and transport have been restored before leaving the safety of their homes.
The embassy and the Philippine Consulate General in New York said they do not have the exact number of Filipinos directly affected by Sandy, but they have received reports that some 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 floodwaters.
Consul General Mario de Leon said reports from the leaders of the Filipino community also indicated that a large number of Filipinos are among the 8.5 million people in 13 states who are currently without electricity.
He said there are also reports that 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. - With Marvin Sy, Teodoro Molina, Joseph Lariosa