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Pinoy Abroad

DFA: No reported Filipino casualties in Syria after earthquake

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday said there were no reported Filipino casualties in Syria following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the said country and Turkey.

Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Eduardo Jose De Vega said there were 60 Filipinos in the Northwestern Syria where the strong quake hit.

“There are 60 of them in the Northwestern Syria where the quake hit. Thankfully, there are no casualties,” De Vega said in an interview with Super Radyo dzBB.

De Vega said a team from the Philippine Embassy in Damascus will provide help to the affected Filipinos.

“Mayroon tayong embahada sa Damascus. Pero anim sa kanila, 6-man team pupunta doon at magdidistribute ng tulong. Kung kailangan may dalhin sa Damascus at iuwi [na mga Pilipino], gagawin namin,” he added.

(We have an embassy in Damascus. About six of them, a 6-man team will go there and distribute help. If there is a need to bring Filipinos to Damascus and bring them home, we will do it.)

However, he said there were no reports yet if Philippine rescue teams will be deployed in Syria.

The Syrian government earlier made an appeal to the Philippine government for assistance following the strong quake that struck the country, according to the Office of Civil Defense (OCD).

OCD spokesperson Assistant Secretary Bernardo Rafaelito Alejandro IV said the Philippine government has prepared donation items that will be sent to Syria.

Alejandro said they are still waiting for the official announcement from the Palace and the DFA about the matter.

The Philippines has sent an 82-man team to help the rescue operation in Turkey.

The quake that hit Turkey on February 6 has killed at least 33,000 people in the country and Syria as of Sunday.—Richa Noriega/LDF, GMA Integrated News