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28/10/2012: Filipinos in US East Coast Told: Get Ready for Hurricane Sandy

PRESS RELEASE
WDC-159-2012
1320H 28 October 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Philippine Embassy is urging the close to half a million members of the Filipino-American Community in the East Coast of the United States to brace themselves for Hurricane Sandy.

Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia said the Embassy has issued an advisory to the more than 460,000 members of the Filipino Community in at least 11 states that forecasters said would be affected by what is said to be the largest storm to hit the US Mainland.

“We advise our kababayans staying along the path of Hurricane Sandy to stay indoors and avoid unnecessary travel until the storm has passed,” Ambassador Cuisia said, adding that Filipinos travelling to other parts of the US or abroad should also anticipate possible delays resulting from airport closures.

He said Filipinos in the affected areas should be ready for heavy rains, strong winds, power outages, floods, falling trees and flying debris when the hurricane hits land with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour.

As part of their preparations, Ambassador Cuisia advised the Filipino-American communities in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, District of Columbia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maine and Connecticut to stock up on food and other emergency provisions and to monitor local media for regular updates.

Ambassador Cuisia said the Embassy and the Philippine Consulate General in New York have also activated 24-hour help desks to assist Filipino tourists, businessmen, seamen and other temporary visitors travelling along the East Coast who may be affected by the hurricane.

Ambassador Cuisia said Filipinos who may require assistance may call the Duty Officer of the Embassy in Washington D.C at 202-368-2767 or the Consulate General in New York at 917-294-0196. He said teams from the Embassy and the Consulate General are on standby in case of emergency assistance.

Both Ambassador Cuisia and Consul General Mario de Leon have also urged Filipino-American Community associations to keep in touch with their members for any developments or emergencies that may arise as a result of the hurricane the effects of which will be felt from late Sunday to Tuesday.

Ambassador Cuisia said the 88 officers and men of the BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF16), the country’s second high-endurance cutter acquired from the US, have also been advised by the Office of the Defense and Armed Forces Attache to prepare. The vessel is currently undergoing refurbishment and refitting in Charleston, South Carolina, which is also in the path of the hurricane.

Ambassador Cuisia said the Embassy and the Consulate General in New York will issue regular updates on Hurricane Sandy in their respective websites www.philippineembassy-usa.org and www.newyorkpcg.org and Facebook and Twitter accounts.

According to the National Hurricane Center, Sandy is expected to bring life-threatening storm surge flooding along the Mid-Atlantic Coast, including Long Island Sound and New York Harbor with winds expected to be near hurricane force when it makes landfall on Monday. Weather forecasters say the hurricane may even intensify when it hits land between Delaware and New Jersey.

Hurricane Sandy, which has been described as ‘Frankenstorm,” is anticipated to cause billions of dollars in damages when it sweeps across the East Coast. As a result, Virginia, Maryland, D.C., Pennsylvania, New York, Maine, New Jersey, and Connecticut have declared states of emergency with New Jersey already ordering evacuations along its coastal areas. ###