DFA: Hundreds of Filipinos affected by 'Irma' in Caribbean to return to PH

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 13) —  As many as 236 Filipinos from several Caribbean islands hit by Hurricane Irma will be repatriated as early as next week, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Wednesday.

"We hope that all the logistical and administrative requirements would be arranged soon so we could start repatriating our kababayans (fellow citizens) by Monday," DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said in a statement.

Cayetano said 16 to 180 Filipinos are waiting to be repatriated from the British Virgin Islands, 20 from Anguilla, and another 36 from St. Martin.

"We will bring all of them home," he added.

Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Robespierre Bolivar told CNN  Philippines around 4,000 Filipinos live in the Caribbean.

The Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. has consular  jurisdiction over the Caribbean Islands, namely: the Bahamas, Bermuda, British West Indies, Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos.

It is also in charge of the states of Florida and Georgia, which were also hit by Hurricane Irma.

Response teams from the Washington embassy will be assisting Filipinos in the British Virgin Islands and Anguilla repatriations, while the embassy is coordinating with the Philippine Embassy in The Hague for the repatriation of Filipinos from Saint Martin.

The DFA said the teams have started to distribute food vouchers to the Filipino community there.

A  response team will also deliver relief supplies to a group of Filipino teachers in the U.S. Virgin Islands who requested assistance.

The embassy said it was also monitoring the condition of a  Filipino in the Turks and Caicos who suffered serious injuries after he fell while clearing debris at his workplace.

Surviving Irma

Cayetano said members of the Filipino community in Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, Miami, and Fort  Lauderdale in Florida have been spared from Hurricane Irma's wrath.

There were also no reports of any Filipino casualties in Georgia, which was also affected by the hurricane.

Irma made landfall in the Florida Keys Sunday, U.S. time, as a Category 4 storm, after hitting islands south of Florida as a Category 5.

CNN reports at least 12 people were killed in Florida due to Irma, while 38 people died in the Caribbean, and 10 in Cuba.

The storm has also caused severe flooding, and destroyed homes and communities in areas it hit.