MANILA, Oct 31 (Mabuhay) – An undetermined number of Filipinos have been affected by Superstorm Sandy, one of the worst storms ever to hit the United States, Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Jose Cuisia said.
In a news release, Cuisia said the affected Filipinos affected by the superstorm are mostly located in Atlantic City, Jersey City, Keansburg and New Milford in New Jersey and in Inwood in Long Island, New York.
Cuisia reassured that they are keeping in touch with leaders of the Filipino community to ensure that they are updated with the situation of the 460,000 Filipinos in 13 states.
He also said that a 24-hour standby team is based at the Embassy and is ready to respond at any give moment to any calls of distress.
Wire reports said northeastern United States battled epic flood waters and lengthy power outages on Tuesday after the massive storm Sandy pummeled the coast with a record storm surge, high winds and heavy rains that killed at least 45 people and caused billion of dollars in losses.
Millions of people in New York City and other hard-hit areas will spend days or weeks recovering from a storm already seen as far more destructive that Hurricane Irene, which slammed into the same region a year ago. One disaster modeling company said Sandy may have caused up to $15 billion in insured losses.
The storm killed 18 people in New York City, among 23 total in New York state, while six died in New Jersey. Seven other states reported fatalities.
Some 8.2 million homes and businesses in several states were without electricity as trees toppled by Sandy’s fierce winds took down power lines.
Sandy hit the coast with a week to go to the Nov. 6 presidential election and turned its fury inland with heavy snowfall, dampening an unprecedented drive to encourage early voting and raising questions whether some polling stations will be ready to open on Election Day.
New York City will struggle without its subway system, which was inundated and will remain shut for days. Much of the Wall Street district was left underwater but officials hoped to have financial markets reopen on Wednesday.
Sandy was the biggest storm to hit the country in generations when it crashed ashore with hurricane-force winds on Monday near the New Jersey gambling resort of Atlantic City, devastating the Jersey Shore tourist haven. Flood waters lifted parked cars and deposited them on an otherwise deserted highway.
No Pinoy fatalities
Meanwhile, Department of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Raul Hernandez on Wednesday said, so far, no Filipino has been reported to have been injured or killed by the storm.
“Base sa report ng embahada sa Washington at konsulado sa New York, so far walang naiulat na Pilipinong nasaktan o namatay dahil sa Hurricane Sandy,” he said.
Hernandez also mentioned that the spirit of “bayanihan” is alive in the US as the Filipino community already started volunteering to help those who are affected.
“Ang Filipino communities doon nagvo-volunteer sa kanilang district para tulungan ang nasawi at i-monitor ang kalagayan hindi lang ng Pilipino kundi pati ng Amerikanong naapektuhan,” he said.
On the other hand, Filipinos affected in New York and New Jersey was offered assistance by the US government.
“Nakaalis sila at naka-evacuate [papunta] sa kaibigan [nila] sa nearby area. Ang iba naman na-evacuate sa school evacuation centers,” he explained.
Wala tayong masyadong mga untoward incidents,” he added.
PHL posts in the US will continue monitoring any developments related to super storm Sandy.
There are 3,166,529 Filipinos residing in the US based on the 2010 Stock Estimate of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas. (MNS)