June 16, 2017 at 12:01 am
Sara Susanne D. Fabunan
There are no Filipino fatalities from the huge fire that engulfed Grenfell Tower in London, the Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement Thursday. But at least one was reported missing.
In a text message to the Standard
, DFA spokesman Robespierre Bolivar said there were Filipinos “who were taken to the hospital for treatment of injuries.”
“Embassy representatives have already visited them. Filipinos living near the Tower have also been advised not to go back to their homes until the situation stabilizes,” Bolivar said.
He said the embassy is still closely monitoring the situation there.
Meanwhile, Senator Joel Villanueva appealed for information on the whereabouts of a Filipino who went missing after the massive blaze engulfed the 21-storey housing block in central London.
“We’re looking for her, Mrs. Ligaya Moore. She lives there. I don’t know how old she is, but most likely she is more than 60 years old,” Villanueva told reporters.
“I was informed she lives alone there, somewhere on the 17th or 21st floor,” the senator added.
Moore is a member of the religious sect Jesus is Lord, which is led by Villanueva’s father, Eddie Villanueva. She attends religious services at a church near her apartment at the Grenfell Tower, the senator said.
Moore’s relatives were still unable to contact her a day after Grenfell burned down, killing at least 17 people, Villanueva said.
Philippine embassy data revealed there are 5,000 Filipinos living and working in the Royal Borough of Kensington, where the Grenfell Tower is located.
The Philippine Embassy in London is also helping locate Moore.
In a Facebook post, the embassy posted a photo of Moore, asking anyone who might have any information about her whereabouts to immediately contact the embassy.
Bolivar said the Philippine Embassy in the United Kingdom is calling on all Filipinos in London to send assistance to their countrymen who may have been affected by the fire.
“A number of fatalities have been reported. At the moment, however, there is no report of Filipino fatalities,” the embassy statement said.
The identities of the fatalities will only be known once authorities in London release the details, it added.
“Several Filipinos and Filipino-Britons affected by the fire are now in hospital and in shelters or evacuation centers,” the embassy said.
The embassy assured Filipinos affected by the fire the Philippine government is ready to assist them.
“The Philippine Embassy in London is closely coordinating with authorities and community leaders. The embassy is ready to extend assistance if necessary and is continuing to monitor the situation,” its statement read.
Philippine Embassy to UK Consul General Senen Mangalile also expressed sympathy to the victims of the fire.
“The embassy’s thoughts go out to the residents of Grenfell Tower in north Kensington whose lives have been impacted by the fire that consumed their building,” Mangalile said.
Mangalile said any Filipino citizen who may need assistance as a result of the fire may call the embassy at +44 7802 790695 or email [email protected]