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300 Filipinos evacuated to temporary shelters in Australia as bushfires crisis loom

Authorities have declared state of emergency across Australia's east cost, urging residents in high risk to evacuate ahead of looming bushfires. 

A total of 146 fires are burning across the state, with 65 uncontained, according to the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSWRFS). Thousands of firefighters were tackling the blazes.

According to the official from the Philippine Embassy in Canberra, around 300 Filipinos have so far been evacuated and given temporary shelter.

“Just two to three days ago, we received reports from our Melbourne landing team… and we have an honorary consul in Melbourne. They both recently reported cases of Filipinos who have been affected by the bushfires,” Consul General Aian Caringal said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel on Sunday.

Report said atleast 24 people have been killed by the wildfires, but Caringal confirmed that none of the casualties were Filipino, although two Filipinos’ homes have reportedly been destroyed.

There are around 300,000 Filipinos living in Australia, he said, added that the embassy are ready to assist Filipino workers looking to return home because of the devastation.

“If there would be any request we are ready to attend to the request and repatriate our kababayan [countrymen] as soon as possible,” he assured.

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