Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Toshinao Urabe condoled with the Philippines as it wakes up from the 7.2-magniture earthquake that devastated central Visayas last week.
In his letter to President Benigno Aquino 3rd, the envoy expressed his “heartfelt condolences and solidarities” to the Filipino people.
He said the Japanese government and its people are praying for a “swift and steady recovery” of central Visayas.
“We, as strategic partner of the Philippines, continue to stand in solidarity with your Government and people at this very difficult time and pray for a swift and steady recovery,” Urabe said.
“On behalf of the government and people of Japan, I would like to express our heartfelt condolences for the tragic loss of lives and injuries as well as damage caused by the earthquake in Bohol,” he added.
According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC), the death toll from the quake rose to 175 on Saturday with 162 bodies recovered in Bohol, 12 in Cebu and one in neighboring Siquijor.
Casualties are pegged at 487—with 393 from Bohol, 89 in Cebu, three in Siquijor, and one each from Iloilo and Negros Oriental.
Some 17 people are missing from Bohol with 695,466 families affected by the quake. This is equivalent to about three million people. The NDRRMC also said that destruction to public and private properties reached P500 million–P525 million in Bohol, P23.15 million in Cebu, P1.45 million in Siquijor and P250,000 in Negros Oriental.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Monday said it will not issue an international appeal just yet for relief operation assistance for the victims of the earthquake in Bohol, Cebu and nearby provinces.
It added that no similar appeals has been made regarding the affected communities of the Zamboanga siege that ended in late September. BERNICE CAMILLE V. BAUZON