WASHINGTON - The Pakistan Embassy here and the Consulate General in New York have urged Pakistani expatriates to remain vigilant and follow the safety precautions laid out by U.S. authorities for the affected States as the huge storm Sandy hits the US East Coast.

In a press release, the embassy said a number of steps have been taken to stay in touch with expatriate Pakistanis and members of Pakistani diaspora in the affected States.

To this end the Embassy and the Consulate General have:

-- approached key Pakistani Community members  through phone and email and

-- urged them to remain vigilant and take all necessary safety precautions  as laid out by their respective district governments and to approach the nearest emergency centre whenever needed;

-- distributed through these contacts and the Embassy website the contact details of key Embassy officials for any emergency service that they may need;

-- provided the US Government officials with the details of the Embassy Officials to be contacted in case of emergency.

--consistent with the decision of the (US) Government to declare a State of emergency in Washington and to close all offices, the Embassy has also been closed. However all the concerned staff is on standby to respond to any contingency if required.