Camping Fil-Am couple killed by tornado in US

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

A FILIPINO-AMERICAN couple got killed Thursday (US time) after a tornado struck a camping site in Cape Charles, Virginia, United States (US).

In a statement, Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Cuisia Jr. said that Lordy Balatbat and Lolabeth Ortega were killed after a tree fell on their tent at the height of tornado that hit the campsite in Virginia's eastern shore, which is four hours by car from Washington, DC

"We would like to extend our deepest condolences to the loved ones of Lordy Balatbat and Lolabeth Ortega," said Cuisia.

Balatbat and Ortega, both 38 and residents of Jersey City, New Jersey, were killed while their 13-year-old son, Lheandro Lloyd, was seriously injured.

The couple's two daughters, Lharizia, 12, and Lheana Ann, 6, were also injured along with another Filipino-American couple.

On the other hand, Balatbat's brother, Lovel, who was with the family, escaped injuries while the status of Ortega's sister and her two children were still being verified.

The Embassy noted that the Balatbat couple are already US citizens but their children are still considered Filipinos since they were born when their parents were still Filipino citizens.

According to Cuisia, the Embassy and the Consulate General is continuously coordinating 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.

Patron had 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.

"We would like to invite the Filipino-American Community to offer prayers for the couple and the loved ones who they left behind," said Cuisia. (HDT/Sunnex)

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