DFA to Pinoys in California wildfires path: Evacuate if necessary

MANILA -- The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday advised more than 100,000 Filipinos along the path of three fast-moving wildfires in southern California to take the necessary precautions and evacuate their homes if ordered to by local authorities.

The DFA said it is closely monitoring the raging fires in Ventura County and another two in Los Angeles County, which according to the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles, could affect as many as 115,000 members of the Filipino community.

As per the Consulate General, there are at least 25,800 Filipinos in Ventura County where the so-called Thomas Fire, the biggest of the three wildfires, continues to wreak havoc.

Meanwhile, there are 89,400 in San Fernando Valley, which is being threatened by the so-called Creek Fire.

Consul General Adel Angelito Cruz said more than 27,000 people had been evacuated already from affected areas in Ventura County, which was placed under a state of emergency after the raging Thomas Fire gutted more than 45,500 acres and destroyed around 150 buildings and houses.

Cruz said the Consulate General is monitoring the Creek Fire and the Rye Fire in Los Angeles County, which have already destroyed more than 11,500 acres. The two wildfires also remain out of control.

Cruz for his part said Filipinos who might be affected by the fires could contact the Philippine Consulate General at +1.213.268.9990 or +1.213.587.0758 for assistance.

In a statement, DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano echoed the consulate's advisory, saying Filipinos should be "ready to evacuate if necessary."

Kababayans (fellowmen) affected by the fires should not hesitate to get in touch with the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles if they need assistance, he said.

We join our kababayans in the Philippines and in the United States in praying for the members of the Filipino Community and their neighbors in Ventura and Los Angeles counties that they will be spared from the raging infernos that are threatening their lives and their homes."

Source: Philippine News Agency

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