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Thursday, January 13, 2011
Embassy opens lines for Pinoys with kin in Queensland
The Philippine Embassy in Canberra has opened its communication lines to Filipinos with relatives in Queensland, the northeastern state of Australia that was recently devastated by flash floods after two weeks of heavy rains.
In a release on Thursday, the Embassy through the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said those in the Philippines may contact the Embassy and that it will try their best to reach their relatives in Queensland.
The Embassy may be contacted through telephone numbers +61-2-62732535, +61-2-62732536 and +61-2-62735718, fax number +61-2-62733984 or email address email@example.com.
Getting in touch with relatives in Queensland will be difficult for now as power and communication lines are still down in most of the Australian state, the Embassy noted.
In a separate release, the Australian Embassy in Manila said the Australian state and federal emergency services are “working hard to provide relief to flood-affected communities."
“While we have no specific information on the number of Filipinos affected by the floods, we would advise any Philippine nationals in the flood-affected areas to monitor the local media and follow the instructions of Queensland authorities," the release added.
The Australian Embassy also noted there is a “serious risk" of further flooding over the period January 12 and 13.
Embassy monitors Pinoys’ conditions
Meanwhile, the Philippine Embassy said it continues to monitor the situation of Filipinos in flood-affected areas of Queensland, amid reports that some of them have sought refuge in evacuation centers, or are staying with friends and relatives from other areas. (See:DFA: Pinoys in Australia safe amid floods)
Philippine Charges d’Affaires Mary Anne Padua said she has instructed Honorary Consul Allan Grummit to visit the evacuation centers as soon as possible to determine the condition of Filipinos who may have sought temporary shelter there.
The Embassy has likewise called on Filipino community leaders and members, as well as those with work permits in the affected areas, to check on the others’ conditions.
There are about 18,000 Filipinos in Queensland.
“We have all been affected in one way or another by the devastating floods, which affected almost the entire State of Queensland. In this condition, being Filipinos, I know each of us can survive. We have to brace together, assist and support each other," Grummit earlier said.
The DFA said those in flooded areas have been instructed by the Australian authorities to stay in the evacuation centers until the floods recede.
Rivers overflowed and caused flash floods in Queensland after more than two weeks of heavy rain, affecting more than 200,000 people and leaving 15 people dead. More than 70 people remain missing, according to the DFA.—Jerrie M. Abella/JV, GMANews.TV