By Roy Mabasa
One Filipino was presumed to have perished in the Northern California wildfires, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.
The Filipino’s remains were recovered on Saturday in the Napa County area, the DFA said, quoting a report from its consulate general’s office in San Francisco.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano conveyed his sympathy to the family of the victim whose identity has not been made public as of this posting.
“We offer our sincere sympathies and prayers to the family of our ‘kababayan’ who perished in this horrific fire,” Cayetano said in a statement.
Cayetano has instructed the Consulate General in San Francisco to extend all possible assistance to the family and to continue to closely monitor the welfare of other Filipinos in the affected areas.
In his report, Deputy Consul General Jaime Ramon Ascalon said they offered assistance to the family of the victim, including coordinating arrangements for the repatriation of the remains.
The consulate office also said they are in continuous communication with the Filipino community through their social media advisories, and have offered consular assistance to those affected by the wildfires.
In the nearby Vallejo, the Iglesia Ni Cristo has offered its church to more than 30 evacuees from surrounding counties of Calistoga, Napa, Fairfield and Santa Rosa.
Vallejo is about 22 kilometers from Napa and 39 kilometers from San Francisco.
The INC in Vallejo said the evacuees of various nationalities and religion are temporarily sheltered in the church’s conference hall since last week.
In a video posted on its website, the INC said evacuees are served with food, water and other basic necessities like airbags for their beddings.
The DFA said about 13,500 Filipinos live in Napa, Sonoma and Yuba counties that have been largely affected by the wildfires.