Phl Embassy: Phl honorary consulate in Christchurch, Filipino community to do head count
THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said that the Philippine Honorary Consulate in Christchurch and the Filipino community there are conducting a head count to determine who are safe and who needs assistance in the light of the 6.3-magnitude earthquake that struck Monday lunchtime (New Zealand time).
“With the improvement of communication lines, the Embassy have been able to re-establish contact with Honorary Consul Zedric Peter Wait and the Filipino community leaders. The community leaders in each area are mobilized to conduct a head count among them to account for the number of people who are safe and sound, while identifying those who might be missing still,” Philippine Charge d’Affaires (CDA) Giovanni Palec said.
CDA Palec added that the Embassy has dispatched a two-man team to Christchurch to coordinate with local authorities regarding the status of Filipinos reported to be missing in the aftermath of the earthquake.
Of particular concern to the Embassy are reports of several Filipinos attending classes at the King’s Education Center located at the CTV Building, which collapsed during the earthquake.
CDA Palec said that the team will arrive in Christchurch Thursday morning to meet and make arrangements with the Filipino community leaders to provide assistance to Filipinos in their respective areas. The team will also distribute water purifying tablets to address the lack of potable water in the area, as well as food provisions.
Authorities in Christchurch reiterated their call for people to remain at home and avoid going out. A curfew has been imposed beginning 6:30 p.m.
The DFA-Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs has set up a hotline for families of Filipinos based in Christchurch. The hotline numbers are 834-4448 and 834-4596.
The New Zealand Government helpline (0800 779 997) is operating 24 hours. A Missing Person Enquiry Line has been established for domestic (0800 733 276) and international enquiries (+6478502199). All Child Youth and Family Clients can call 0508-FAMILY (0508 326 459) for assistance with concerns about a child or a young person.