DFA ready to evacuate Filipinos in Japan

DFA ready to evacuate Filipinos in Japan

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is doing contingency measures if emergency evacuation arises for Filipinos residing in Fukushima Prefecture and other nearby Japanese cities in danger of exposure to radiation from the earthquake-damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant.

The ABS-CBN News Team reported that a total of 100 Filipinos have already been evacuated to Tokyo, which is 250 kilometers away from the plant. The News team also reported frantic calls for help from Filipinos in Sendai, Chiba and Iwate prefecture asking Philippine authorities to help them evacuate.

As Japanese authorities declared a 20-30 km exclusion zone from the Fukushima plant, DFA Spokesman Ed Malaya they are negotiating with Philippine Airlines and other carriers to increase flights to Tokyo.

The Philippine Embassy in Japan is now at crisis level 2, which means that Filipinos are encouraged to consider voluntary departure on their own. Once the situation reaches crisis level 3, the government will arrange and pay for voluntary repatriation.

The threat of radiation poisoning prompted some foreign governments to start evacuating their citizens.

Philippine authorities however said it had no immediate plans to begin mass evacuations, saying it would follow the advice of Japanese authorities who said harmful radiation exposure only covered areas close to the plant.

Instead, the DFA has activated a Crisis Management Center for families who have relatives in Japan. 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 dfaoumwa.cmc@gmail.com.