By Roy Mabasa
No reports of Filipino casualties in the earthquake that struck the western part of Japan Monday morning, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a statement.
The foreign affairs office said there are 16,295 Filipinos in the Kansai area, the epicenter of the quake that left three people dead and dozens injured.
Japanese authorities said the earthquake, measuring at magnitude 6.1 and a lower 6 on the Japanese seismic scale of 7, hit at 7:58 a.m. and occurred at a depth of about 13 km in the northern part of Osaka Prefecture.
In a report to the home office, the Philippine consulate in Osaka has advised members of the Filipino Community in the prefectures of Osaka, Hyogo, Nara, and Shiga to be on alert for aftershocks and avoid unnecessary travel
Philippine Consul General Maria Aileen Bugarin has advised the Filipino Community to continue monitoring disaster-related information in their respective areas.
Similarly, the consul general said all consulate personnel were safe and accounted for.
Bugarin said Japanese authorities are still assessing the damage caused by the tremor and that safety checks were being conducted in the building where the consulate is located.
“We express our condolences to the Government of Japan over the loss of lives in this morning’s earthquake in the Kansai Region,” the DFA said in a statement.
Reports emanating from Japan said Monday’s tremor was one of the most powerful earthquakes to rock the Kansai region in decades.