THE Philippine Embassy in Washington urged the Filipino-American community there to help the victims of the recent ferry tragedy off the coast of Cebu and those affected by the torrential rains and floods in Luzon.
Philippine Ambassador to Washington Jose Cuisia Jr. appealed to the community to provide financial assistance and support the relief efforts for the victims of the two tragedies.
"I wish to call on all Filipino Americans to do what you can to alleviate the suffering of the victims caused by these disasters that took place just hours apart from each other," he said.
"Let us rally and come to the aid of our kababayans in this time of need," Cuisia added.
The M/V St. Thomas Aquinas ferry collided with the Sulpicio cargo ship last week in the Mactan Channel, about two miles northwest of Cebu City, the capital of Cebu province.
The passenger ship was coming from nearby Butuan City, while the cargo vessel was leaving Cebu for Davao.
According to the Philippine Coast Guard, the number of people confirmed dead is at 70. Dozens others remain missing, while hundreds have been rescued.
Tropical storm "Maring," on the other hand, arrived on August 17 and enhanced the southwest monsoon triggering heavy rains and floods and several areas. It was the 13th to hit the Philippines this year.
According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), 17 people were reported to have died, 41 injured and four missing.
There were also over 600,000 persons affected in the regions of Ilocos, Cordillera, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, and National Capital Region.
The torrential rains and floods caused schools, government offices, and financial markets to close. Flights at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport were cancelled due to the bad weather, which also made most of the roads in the low-lying capital region impassable. (CVB/Sunnex)