PH team to help Filipinos in hurricane-ravaged British Virgin Islands

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Philippine embassy in Washington will send a small team to help Filipinos in the British Virgin Islands which had been devastated by Hurricane Irma.

"The team will bring basic provisions and arrange for the repatriation of those who wish to return to the Philippines,” Philippine Charge d'Affaires to Washington Patrick Chuasoto said in a statement on Saturday, September 9.

Chuasoto said that the embassy has been "receiving requests for assistance from the Filipinos there and their relatives who are based in the US and the Philippines."

The deployment of the two-member team is being coordinated with the United Kingdom, through the Philippine embassy in London.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano extended sympathies to the island-nations affected by the hurricane.

"The Philippines is saddened by the devastation unleashed by Hurricane Irma and offers its sympathies and prayers to our friends in the various island-nations of the Caribbean who had to go throw this cataclysm," Cayetano said.

"We thank God that our kababayans (countrymen) in the Caribbean have been spared and we continue to pray that those still in the path of Irma be kept safe," he added.

According to the DFA, there were no Filipinos among the 21 reported fatalities due to the wrath brought by Hurricane Irma across the region. There are an estimated 264 Filipinos in the British Virgin Islands.

Chuasoto said the embassy had yet to receive reports of Filipino casualties in the British Virgin Islands.

"So far, we have not received any report of Filipino casualties, although many continue to suffer from power outages, decreasing supplies, and damage to property and loss of important documents, including passports,” he said.

Chuasoto said embassy officials "are constantly trying to establish and maintain communication with members of the Filipino communities in the disaster-stricken areas."

Hurricane Irma – one of the most powerful Atlantic storms on record – has severely hit the Caribbeans, claiming at least 9 lives and turning the tropical islands of Barbuda and Saint Martin into mountains of rubble.

Embassy officials said those who need immediate assistance, may also call the hotline provided by the British Government: +442070080000.

Those who want to share or find information about the condition of their family members and friends living in areas affected by Hurricane Irma may reach the Philippine Embassy in Washington through the following:

Rappler.com