The government is ready to provide assistance to Filipinos affected by the deadly wildfires that struck the island of Maui in Hawaii, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said Tuesday night.
Mr. Marcos issued the statement on his official X (formerly Twitter) account, as he assured the public that he is closely monitoring the condition of Filipinos residing in Hawaii.
About 388,000 individuals in Hawaii identify themselves as Filipino or part-Filipino, according to the 2020 US state census.
Around 200,000 of the 388,000 have parents who are both Filipinos but only 16 percent are Philippine passport holders.
“With the help of the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Migrant Workers, we are trying to get the number of Filipinos affected by the wildfires in Hawaii),” he said.
Mr. Marcos said the Philippine Consulate in Honolulu is ready to assist affected Filipinos.
He advised the Filipinos needing assistance to contact the government through its 24/7 emergency hotline +1808 253-9446 or official e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mr. Marcos said the Philippine Consul General in Hawaii is currently contacting local authorities and the Filipino community with any new information regarding the incident.
The DFA on Tuesday said around 50 Filipino teachers in Hawaii are among the thousands of individuals who were able to flee from the wildfires in Maui while the Philippine Consulate is sending a team to assist affected Filipinos.
Official information from the Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu said the search and rescue operations have only reached about 3 percent of the areas gutted by the wildfires.
As of Aug. 15, the death toll from the blaze has reached 99 as local authorities have yet to ascertain both their identities and ethnicities.