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MFAT Tsunami Update 6 At 1100 Weds 29 December 04


MFAT Tsunami Update 6 At 1100 Weds 29 December 2004

1 Reports from NZ officials in Thailand note that of nearly 500 on their data base, 172 are established to be OK. One death has been confirmed, and there are 11 in hospital (6 Phuket, 5 in Bangkok).

2 Of the around 300 unaccounted for, there appears to be around 113 New Zealanders missing in the affected areas plus another 192 whose whereabouts are unknown at this point.

3 Thai authorities have laid on extra flights to get people from Phuket area to Bangkok. The Embassy had up to three teams at airport although numbers of NZers passing through were few. Some are staying on in Phuket to help in clean up. Embassy staff are assisting with emergency documentation where required.

4 The New Zealand officials in Phuket have been visiting affected towns including makeshift mortuaries, one of which is at the Deep Sea Port. The Thai authorities have asked for forensic assistance.

5 The Thai authorities' assistance has been massive. They are feeding, clothing and housing affected visitors who in the Thai Foreign Minister's words are "visitors in our country - we want to look after you".

6 As of 1000 this morning, the Red Cross and MFAT Call Centres had had calls concerning just over 1200 persons. So far over 300 have been fully accounted for.

7 Reminder that Red Cross Centre on 0800 733 276 (0 800 REDCROSS) is fielding enquiries about missing New Zealanders. It would welcome information about people for whom enquiries were previously made and who have since been accounted for and/or returned to New Zealand.

8 Mr Goff is expected to make a further statement on assistance this afternoon.

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