By Gloria Jane Baylon
A 8.9-magnitude quake hit northeast Japan on Friday, where a sizable number of Filipinos live, and the after-quake tsunami that already hit Tokyo’s shorelines is feared to hit the Philippines early evening.
There are some 84,500 Filipino nationals in western and southern regions of the country, and about 224,600 in the central and northern regions. There are an estimated 306,000 Filipinos in all of Japan.
To comfort their families in the Philippines, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has set up a 24-hour hotline and e-mail for their use.
The capital city of Tokyo, which itself has a long coastline, is one of those affected by the earthquake and the ensuing tsunami hit the neighboring old harbor town of Yokohama.
The hotline numbers at the DFA-OUMWA’s Crisis Management Center are 834-4646 and 834-4580. Requests for information may also be sent through e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
At its 24th-floor location in a building in Osaka City, the Philippine Consulate General there said it felt the impact but the staff members are otherwise safe and there is no damage to the consulate office.
In a phone call to the DFA, Consulate officials reported that there is not much damage to the western and southern regions of Japan, and that the focus of attention of Japanese and Filipinos in their area is Sendai, Honshu in northeast Japan which bore the brunt of the quake.