Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Philippines: 2 killed in Japan disaster identified; 3 still missing in NZ quake


The first two cases of Filipino casualties after the magnitude 9.0 quake that flattened the Tohoku region on 11 March was confirmed by Philippine Ambassador to Japan Manuel Lopez in an interview on dzBB today.
According to the Embassy, the fatalities were Grace Agnes Oprecio-Hiruta and her 12-year-old daughter Maria of Iwaki City in Fukushima Prefecture.
Lopez told GMA News this morning that the bodies of the two were confirmed by Oprecio's Japanese husband, Masahiro Hiruta. She used to be a resident of ParaƱaque City.
The Filipino envoy said on dzBB, "Confirmed yan, mag-ina. Kahapon nadiskubre kahapon namatay dahil sa tsunami, sa Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture," [We can confirm the mother and daughter were found dead yesterday in the wake of the tsunami, in Iwaki City in Fukushima Prefecture.]
Lopez added that the relatives of Oprecio in Tokyo had been informed and they will go to Iwaki City to retrieve the bodies.
He also said that it is possible that more Filipino casualties will be identified in the following days.
About 40 Filipino nationals are still missing, according to the emissary. Click here to see their names.
As of 12:00 Monday, the total death toll reported in 12 prefectures rose to 8,649 with 13,262 missing in six prefectures, The Japan Times said.
The Japanese police had turned over 2,990 bodies to the relatives among the 4,080 who were identified.
Following the explosions at the Fukushima nuclear power plants, around 340,000 were evacuated in 2,070 shelters set up in 16 prefectures.
Meanwhile, the bodies of three Filipinos who died in the magnitude 6.3 temblor that struck Christchurch City in New Zealand on 23 February remain missing according to the Philippine Embassy in Wellington.
The three missing Filipinos were identified as Ezra Mae Medalle, Jessie Lloyd Redoble and Rhea Mae Sumalpong, in a report by the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Eight other Filipino fatalities were earlier identified. Click here to see their names.
The remains of Jewel Francisco and Erica Nora arrived on Friday at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila on a Singapore Airlines flight.
Around 150 people perished in the Christchurch quake.
Details of this report here.
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