2 more Filipino casualties in Hawaii wildfires still being verified — DFA

By: Charie Abarca - Inquirer.net | August 21,2023 - 07:47 PM

Photo of the facade of the DFA office with its official logo for story: 2 more Filipino casualties in Hawaii wildfires still being verified — DFA


MANILA, Philippines — Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Eduardo de Vega said they are verifying reports of two more Filipino casualties in the Hawaii wildfires.

De Vega, in a message to INQUIRER.net, said the DFA uses official sources before confirming information such as reported fatalities.

“[We] are verifying reports of more Filipino casualties. [We] will update. I cannot confirm [yet],” said De Vega.

According to de Vega, Philippine Consul General in Honolulu Emilio Fernandez stated that the alleged casualties are “not yet among those whose identities [that] Maui County officials have released to the public.”

The clarification comes after a viral social media post of Edna Sagudang claiming that her relatives — her mother and brother, specifically — were among the Filipino casualties in the catastrophic fires.

“It is with deep sadness and heavy hearts to report that my beautiful mom and big brother passed away on Tuesday, August 8, 2023. Conchita and Danilo passed away while trying to escape the brush fires near the Paunau subdivision in Lahaina,” Sagudang’s Facebook post states.

Meanwhile, de Vega said 114 are now confirmed casualties in the catastrophe.

“Unfortunately, numbers will be bound to rise,” said de Vega. “The Philippine government commiserates with the families of all victims,” he added.

On Friday, the DFA confirmed Alfredo Galinato’s death, 79, following the Hawaii wildfires. Galinato was a naturalized US citizen from Ilocos.


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TAGS: casualties, DFA, Filipino, Hawaii, wildfires

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