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MFAT Tsunami Update 18 At Noon On 4 January 2005

MFAT Tsunami Update 18 At Noon On 4 January 2005

1 As of noon today, the overall number of persons on the MFAT database for the entire affected areas is 3592, of whom 2679 are confirmed alive and well. The number of confirmed deaths is two (see next para). 6 remain in hospital. The number of those missing and for whom there are most serious concerns is 4. 901 persons remain unaccounted for, of whom around 50 have been flagged, on the basis of further information, as warranting a concentrated effort to determine their whereabouts.

2 June Kander, whose death has been reported today, also held Canadian citizenship and does not therefore appear in the above statistics.

3 Thailand: Overnight figures from New Zealand embassy officials recorded a total of 953 persons; 838 allive and well, 2 deceased, 2 in hospitals in Phuket (one due for release today), 5 unaccounted for and known to have been in the areas of concern, plus a further 106 unaccounted for and known to have been in Thailand.

4 Foreign Minister Phil Goff is due in Phuket late tonight (Thai time - early tomorrow morning NZ time). Details of his programme are in his press statement of 3 January (www.beehive.govt.nz or www.mfat.govt.nz )

5 Approximately 300 Disaster Victim Indentification experts from 19 countries, including New Zealand, are now working on post-mortems at three designated locations around Phuket. The Australian joint leader of the DVI Centre, Superintendent Karl Kent, has said their work is expected to take "several months".

6 Indonesia: New Zealand embassy officials in Jakarta have reported that a limited cleanup is under way in the capital of Aceh Province, Banda Aceh. The Indonesian government is trying to remove and bury around 6,000 bodies a day. Electricity has been restored in some areas, and public transport beginning to operate. However, many cities are completely devestated with little sign of lie. Most buildings in Banda Aceh have been damaged.

ENDS

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