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MFAT Tsunami Update 5 At 2200 28 December

MFAT Tsunami Update 5 At 2200 28 December

1 We understand that local authorities in Phuket now put number of dead in that general area (including neighbouring towns) at 1031. 763 are said to be Thai, 36 identified foreigners and 232 unidentified foreigners. Actual toll could be higher as some locals have been buried already.

2 2235 are said to be missing in the same area, of which 295 are foreigners. This number is expected to rise.

3 NZ Embassy is assisting New Zealanders through Bangkok airport, including with documentation as required. The condition of those New Zealanders leaving vary from scarcely affected (and indeed some continuing holidays) to being totally traumatised.

4 The team of 3 NZ officials (one police, 2 MFAT) based in Phuket are focusing on gathering information relating to dead, missing and injured foreigners in a number of towns around Phuket itself. Given the spread of locations, this task is expected to take some time. Additional staff are being sent to the area. Conditions however are difficult, and accommodation in some cases limited to space on gymnasium and barrack floors.

5 Following Minister Goff's earlier statement of 27 December, and in light of further information about the extent of loss of life and damage, officials will be looking at a full range of relief assistance options on Wednesday.

6 This is the last update for 28 December. Next bulletin tomorrow 29 December late morning.

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