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MFAT Tsunami update 8

Thu, 30 Dec 2004

MFAT Tsunami update 8

MFAT Tsunami Update 8 At 1130 On Wednesday 29 December

1 An RNZAF 757 Aircraft is scheduled to depart from Whenuapai Airbase at around 2 pm, stopping at Ohakea to pick up forensic equipment. The aircraft will overnight in Darwin before continuing on to Phuket tomorrow morning. On board will be a 10-member Disaster Victim Identification Team, comprising eight Police personnel, a dentist and a pathologist. Also on board will be an Emergency Response Team comprising officials from Police, NZ Defence Force, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. This team will strengthen the team of Police and NZ Embassy officials already working in Phuket.

2 As at 6 am NZ time, NZ officials in Thailand had 770 names entered on their database. Of these, around 350 are confirmed OK, one is confirmed deceased and 17 are in hospitals in Bangkok, Phuket and Krabi. There are unconfirmed reports of two other deceased New Zealanders. Two New Zealand medical personnel, a nurse and a paramedic, are visiting the injured New Zealanders to check on their condition. There were 124 New Zealanders unaccounted for and known to have been in the affected areas. Around 280 others are unaccounted for and thought to have been in somewhere in Thailand.

3 In addition to the 17 New Zealanders reported hospitalised in Thailand, we are aware of two New Zealanders hospitalised in India.

4 In order to account for people registered on our databases, we continue to encourage New Zealanders to advise us if they have heard from their friends and relatives in the affected areas.

5 At 1130 this morning, enquiries had been made through the Red Cross and MFAT call centres concerning about 2200 New Zealanders. Of these around 1000 had been accounted for. Many further calls are being processed - some of these are likely to relate to additional names, while others will relate to previous enquries.

ENDS

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