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PH offers sympathies, prayers to Japan

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The Philippine government has offered sympathies to Japan for the 10 people killed and 300 injured by typhoon Jebi. It also offered prayers to victims of the earthquake in Hokkaido.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday offered the sympathies.

The Philippine embassy in Tokyo and the Philippine Consulate General in Osaka have not received any reports of Filipinos being among the 10 fatalities and hundreds injured in the aftermath of the typhoon.

The embassy and the consulate monitored and checked on the situation of the 280,000-strong Filipino community to determine if there were any of them were affected by the typhoon.

The embassy and the consulate are ready to provide assistance to affected kababayan, if any. Affected members of the Filipino community can contact the embassy at +8180 4928 7979 and the Consulate General at +8190 4036 7984.

On Thursday, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said, “Our prayers to the people of Japan who were affected by a powerful magnitude 6.7 earthquake that struck their northern region this morning.”

Various reports showed that at least one person was killed and at least 32 others were missing after the quake. As of this posting, at least 20 people were reported missing in Atsuma town in Hokkaido.

Ambassador to Japan Jose C. Laurel said so far there are no Filipinos reported injured or gone missing from the powerful earthquake that struck Hokkaido, Japan Thursday morning.

The DFA is monitoring the situation and stays in touch with the leaders of the Filipino community in Hokkaido to check the condition of compatriots there and ensure that every one is safe and accounted for, said Roque.

The embassy is in touch with the Hokkaido Prefectural Government Crisis Management Division as Japanese authorities determine the extent of the damage caused by the quake.

Laurel said the Embassy is ready to provide assistance to affected Filipinos in the area and is working closely with Honorary Consul Ken Tobe and leaders of the Samahang Pilipino sa Hokkaido to monitor their situation. There are around 1,800 Filipinos residing on the island, the DFA said.

The embassy is also checking whether there are Filipino tourists or businessmen visiting Sapporo, Japan’s fifth largest city and a popular tourist destination in Hokkaido, according to Laurel.

The earthquake hit the island at around 3 a.m. and some aftershocks are still being felt at this point. Around 3 million buildings across the island were left without electricity and dozens were injured by falling debris.

Electricity was cut off after Hokkaido Electric Power Co. conducted an emergency shutdown following the quake.

The Chitose Airport is also closed and all Shinkansen train movements have been suspended.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said the quake did not pose tsunami risk.

Japan is prone to quake as it is situated on the vulnerable quake-hit zone, the “Pacific Ring of Fire.”

The most powerful earthquake recorded in Japan, with a 9.0 magnitude, struck the country on March 11, 2011. It set off a tsunami that killed nearly 20,000 people.

Those affected by the earthquake and who may require assistance may contact the Philippine embassy at +8180 4928 7979.

Meanwhile, next of kin in the Philippines may contact the Office of Migrant Workers Affairs at (+632) 834-4996 and [email protected] during office hours and DFA Action Center +632 834-3333 or 834-4997 after office hours.

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