Published: Thursday 14 September, 2017

More Than 200 Pinoys from IRMA Devastated Caribbean Coming Home

Dozens of Pinoys from the Caribbean are coming home. This after Hurricane Irma devastated a number of Caribbean islands leaving many residents with no shelter, work, or food. A week after Irma lashed through the area, many residents are still awaiting assistance.

Hurricane Irma Caribbean

Some of the devastation Hurricane Irma brought to the Caribbean island of St. Martin. (AFP Getty Images)

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, more then 200 Filipinos have sent word to embassies and consulates that they want to go home. And DFA secretary Alan Peter Cayetano have assured them that they will be brought back to their families in the Philippines.

“There are now as many as 236 of our kababayans from various parts of the Caribbean who have asked to be repatriated,” said Cayetano as quoted by GMA News.

“We assure them that we will bring all of them home.”

Hurricane Irma pummeled the Caribbean with Category 5 force last week, flattening communities and causing dozens of deaths and injuries. Most badly hit are the islands of St. Martin, Aguilla, US Virgin Islands, Bahamas, Cuba, and British Virgin Islands, among others.

The DFA said around 160 to 180 Filipinos are awaiting repatriation in the British Virgin Islands, 20 in Anguilla and 36 in St. Martin.

Logistics is a big problem. Because of the devastation, ports and airports have also been badly damaged in some of the islands and the Pinoys may have to be transported to other islands to be picked up.

According to news reports, residents fleeing the devastation have used all means of transport available just to get out and seek food, shelter and assistance elsewhere.

Aid agencies such as UNICEF and the Red Cross are also finding it hard to extend assistance due to logistical problems. Meanwhile, many private companies such as Royal Caribbean cruise lines have taken the initiative to deliver supplies and aid.