1,300 Filipinos in Japan earthquake epicenter safe – PH embassy

Inquirer.net January 03,2024 - 08:14 AM

earthquake Japan Filipinos

A staff member of Japan Meteorological Agency speaks at a press conference in Tokyo Monday, Jan. 1, 2024, following an earthquake. Japan issued tsunami alerts and told people to evacuate seaside areas after a series of strong quakes on its western coastline Monday, Jan.1. (Kyodo News via AP)

MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Tuesday offered assistance to Japan which was hit by a magnitude 7.6  earthquake on New Year’s Day, saying Filipinos were deeply saddened by the tragedy that killed at least 50 people.

“We have made the offer to assist in any way that we can. In the face of shared climate challenges within the Pacific Ring of Fire, we stand united with Japan and stay ready to provide support from the Philippines,” he posted on X (formerly Twitter).

Japanese Ambassador to Manila Koshikawa Kazuhiko, on the other hand, responded by expressing his appreciation to the president.

“Thank you so much for your messages, President [Marcos]! [Japan and the Philippines] have consistently stood by each other in times of crisis. A friend in need is a friend indeed,” he said also in a post on X.

No reports of casualties

Marcos said that the Philippines has been in close collaboration with the Japanese government to secure the welfare of Filipinos there, although at the Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon briefing, Philippine Ambassador to Japan Mylene Albano said there were no reports yet about any Filipino being killed or injured because of the earthquake.

But she added that 35 Filipinos were evacuated in Ishikawa Prefecture, the epicenter of the tremor, after tsunami warnings were raised in Japan. There are 1,300 Filipinos in the area, she reported. According to Albano, the Philippine Embassy was ready to assist Filipinos affected by the earthquake as she also assured the public that she and the other officials were in constant communication with Filipino communities in Japan through their social media accounts. In a separate interview on Radyo 360, she reiterated that all Filipinos in the epicenter of the quake were safe.

“Thank God, we don’t have any report of Filipinos having been injured by the earthquake here. The information we’ve received from our Filipino communities in the affected areas are that there were those who got into the evacuation centers,” Albano said.

“There were those who went to the city hall in their area because they were evacuated to avoid the possible tsunamis,” she added.

Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (Owwa) Administrator Arnell Ignacio also said that his office has yet to receive any reports about Filipino casualties by the massive earthquake.

“We have about 1,287 Filipinos in that area and you can count [on us to] monitor our fellow Filipinos there [regarding] their safety,” Ignacio announced in a video posted on the Owwa Facebook page on Tuesday.

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TAGS: earthquake, Filipinos, Japan, Marcos

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