Dozens of Filipinos spent the night in an evacuation center following the magnitude-6.2 earthquake that shook central Italy on Wednesday, leaving at least 159 people dead and 368 others injured.
In an interview on "Balitanghali" on Thursday, welfare officer Hector Cruz said at least 40 Filipinos were in an evacuation center in Norcia, a historic tourist town in southeastern Umbria, as of Thursday morning.
"Sila po ay nasa magandang kalagayan, wala pong reported na nasaktan o nasugatan or may namatay, at sila po ay all accounted [for]," Cruz said.
Cruz said they got the information from the Filipinos themselves as they do not have the exact number of Filipinos living and working in Norcia and in Amatice, another area hit by the earthquake.
"Wala pa po tayong naitatala na Pilipinong naapektuhan or nasugatan or casualties dito po sa mga lugar na ating binisita, lalo na po dito sa lugar na masyadong nasalanta, ito pong Amatice tsaka ito pong Norcia," he said, citing initial information.
He said staff from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office will continue to scour hospitals around the quake-hit areas to see if there are injured Filipinos.
"Sa pagsikat po ng araw mamaya siguro pupuntahan po namin mamaya yung L'Aquila kung saan meron po ding mga ospital dun. Yun po ang aming concentration ngayon," Cruz said
Relatives of Filipinos based in Italy who cannot reach their family members are encouraged to contact the Department of Foreign Affairs, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and the Department of Labor and Employment for assistance.
"Magpunta sila sa ating Department of Foreign Affairs, o kaya sa OWWA, o sa Labor para maibigay nila yung eksaktong lugar o yung contact numbers ng kanilang mga kaanak habang kami po ay nandito, habang kami ay bumabiyahe, ay patuloy din naman po kaming nagtatawag doon sa kanilang mga kaanak," Cruz said.
All access points to Amatrice—the worst-hit area of the earthquake—were shut down by the Italian government while rescue operations are underway. —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News