MANILA, Philippines - There were no Filipino casualties after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake rocked the Sichuan province in China Monday, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Tuesday.
"Based office and initial accounts of Chengdu-based [overseas Filipino workers] OFWs there were no Filipino casualties," said DFA spokesperson Claro Cristobal in a text message to GMANews.TV.
According to Cristobal, there are 397 Filipinos (as of February 2008) based in Chengdu, Sichuan's provincial capital.
Most of the Filipinos there are employed as teachers, engineers, technicians and musicians.
"The consulate and the Philippine Embassy in Beijing continue to monitor the situation and coordinate with authorities in the affected provinces," Cristobal said.
The death toll from China's worst earthquake in three decades climbed Tuesday to about 10,000, while rescuers struggled to reach the epicenter of a quake that toppled schools, buildings and factories.
Worst hit were four counties including the quake's epicenter in Wenchuan, 60 miles (100 kilometers) northwest of Chengdu. Landslides blocked roads into the area. - Mark Joseph Ubalde, GMANews.TV with reports from AP