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25/07/2014: FILIPINO COMMUNITY ASKED TO PRAY FOR FILAM COUPLE KILLED AFTER TORNADO STRIKES VIRGINIA CAMPING SITE

PRESS RELEASE
WDC-061-2014
25 July 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Philippine Embassy and the Philippine Consulate General in New York are asking the Filipino Community in the United States to offer prayers for a Filipino-American couple who lost their lives after a tornado struck a camping site in Cape Charles, Virginia, on Thursday.

“We would like to extend our deepest condolences to the loved ones of Lordy Balatbat and Lolabeth Ortega,” Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. said. “We would like to invite the Filipino-American Community to offer prayers for the couple and the loved ones who they left behind.”

Deputy Consul General Zaldy Patron also visited Balatbat’s parents, Luis and Lily, and other family members in Jersey City to express the sympathies of the Embassy and the Consulate General and at the same time convey the offer to help. He was accompanied by Jersey City Councilman Rolando Lavarro.

Balatbat and Ortega, both 38 and residents of Jersey City, New Jersey, were killed and their 13-year old son, Lheandro Lloyd, seriously injured when a tree fell on their tent at the height of tornado that hit the campsite in Virginia’s eastern shore, more than four hours by car from Washington, D.C.

Deputy Consul General Patron said the couple’s two daughters, Lharizia, 12, and Lheana Ann, 6, were also injured along with another Filipino-American couple.

Balatbat’s brother, Lovel, who was with the family escaped injuries. Also with them was Ortega’s sister and her two children but it is not known if they were among the 34 other injured victims.

The Embassy and the Consulate General continues to coordinate with police authorities, hospital officials and members of the Filipino Community in Virginia and New Jersey on how they could extend assistance to the family of the victims. ###