Pinoys in US Midwest prepare for ‘Sandy’
The Filipino community in the area is advised to stay indoors and avoid coastal areas in the Great Lakes

BAYANIHAN. The home of a Filipino family, one of a few that still has electricity in storm-ravaged Jersey City in New Jersey, serves as an improvised charging station for the mobile devices of other Filipinos in the area. Photo courtesy of Philippine consulate general in New York

MANILA, Philippines – Around 50,000 Filipinos living in the US Midwest should brace themselves for superstorm Sandy, which is heading there now after leaving at least 40 dead and millions affected in the East Coast.

The Filipino community in the area has been advised to stay indoors and avoid coastal areas due to potential 6-meter-high waves in the Great Lakes, the Philippine embassy in Washington DC said on Wednesday, October 31. (Read: Sandy’s danger not yet over, Pinoys told)

Consul General in Chicago General Leo Herrera-Lim noted that the effects of the storm are already being felt in the area and all cargo shipping activity in Lake Michigan has come to a standstill.

Ambassador Jose Cuisia and his team are monitoring the storm from the East Coast. (Read: Pinoys in US told: Heed ‘Sandy’ warnings)

“We continue to receive reports of Filipinos affected by floodwaters and power outages…Fortunately, there are no reports of any Filipino casualties and we hope it remains that way,” he said in a statement.

In New York and New Jersey, badly hit by Sandy, the situation has started to normalize but many Filipinos are still without electricity and could not be contacted because of downed communication lines.

Consul General in New York Michael de Leon said he has reports that the homes of an estimated 20,000 Filipinos have been damaged.

FILIPINO STORE. Filipinos line up for food supplies and other necessities at the Philippine Farm in Jersey City, one of a few establishments powered by a generator. Photo by PH consulate general in New York

At least two Filipino families were also reported to have completely lost their houses in Staten Island.

De Leon appealed to the bayanihan spirit of Filipinos and called on them to help their kababayans by sharing food, water and other necessities to help alleviate their immediate concerns.

“We should share power sources in our homes if we have electricity so that those in dire need can charge their mobile devices and allow them to communicate with relatives and friends here in the US and in the Philippines,” he said. –

Filipinos who may require assistance due to Hurricane Sandy may call the Duty Officer of the Philippine embassy in Washington DC at 202-368-2767 or the Consulates General in New York (917-294-0196) or Chicago (312-501-6458).

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