• Filipina in London fire missing

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    A Filipina was among those reported missing following the Grenfell tower fire in London on Wednesday, and Sen. Joel Villanueva is appealing for help to find her.

    Ligaya Moore

    Villanueva identified the missing Filipina as Ligaya Moore, a member of the Jesus Is Lord (JIL) church founded by the senator’s father Eduardo Villanueva.

    The senator however could not provide further details on Moore, a resident at the 21st floor of the 24-storey Grenfell tower that was engulfed by fire on Wednesday.

    “Until now we are having a hard time looking for her. We already informed our embassy and hopefully we could locate her,” Villanueva told reporters.

    Based on the information obtained by the senator, Moore is over 60 years old and is living alone in her Grenfell flat.

    Church members were able to find a contact in the Philippines who gave Moore’s mobile number, but her phone couldn’t be reached.

    Ten Filipinos were among those injured in the massive fire that charred Grenfell tower in west London, according to initial information provided by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

    The DFA on Thursday confirmed that several Filipinos were admitted to hospitals because of injuries sustained in the deadly blaze. On Wednesday, Consul General Senen Mangalile reported that Filipinos were brought to an evacuation center at Saint Claire Chapel while some were accommodated at the nearby Saint Clement’s Church, Saint Francis of Assisi Church and the Portobello Rugby Club.

    DFA spokesman Robespierre Bolivar said embassy representatives in London have visited the victims and advised Filipinos living near the tower not to go back to their homes until the situation has stabilized. There are 3,000 Filipinos living in the vicinity of the tower, the Kensington and Chelsea area, according to the DFA.

    “Embassy is still closely monitoring the situation and there have been appeals to the Filipino community in the United Kingdom for assistance to Filipinos who may have been affected,” Bolivar told reporters.

    Seventeen people have been confirmed dead in the fire that engulfed the London tower block on Wednesday, emergency services said, adding that the toll was set to rise as there were no hopes of finding survivors.

    There were believed to be around 600 people in Grenfell Tower in west London when the fire started before dawn on Wednesday and dozens are still missing.

    London Fire Brigade chief Dany Cotton said firefighters were not able to access all the apartments because of structural safety concerns and had only searched around half of the building “in detail.”

    with  JAIME R. PILAPIL AND AFP

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