Day 2 — Getting an overview

NEWS – See also the report from Sunday 26 on: 27.12.04 22.06 Two Danish families have lost their three children in the Khao Lak area which has been almost inaccessible since the disaster struck. The children were five, three and two years old. Their parents were on the beach, when the wave took their children away.      Danish ambassador Ulrik Helweg-Larsen had managed to go to the area and speaking to Danish journalist Lasse Norgaard based in Chiang Mai he told of the horrible news.      “It is so terrible that can hardly talk about,” the ambassador said having met with the bereaved parents.      During his visit he also spoke to other Danes who had not yet been able to find their spouses.      The area north of Phuket is popular among Scandinavians, Lasse Norgaard adds in his report to the Danish daily JyllandsPosten, but because of the damages it had been difficult to know what happened.      “It looked like a bomb hit the area. Hotels and bungalows were collapsed and partly swept away. Some places you see cars having been swept up on balconies. It is undescribable,” the ambassador tells.      Ulrik Helweg-Larsen had been around the area and located six Danes at hospitals while others had slept overnight at temple grounds.      “There is food and water enough and the busses have started operating so many have left the area. I was there to see for myself how bad it was and inform the Danes about our emergency center where we can provide help with issuing new passports, money, etc.” he told Lasse Norgaard. 27.12.04 20.00 The baby boy who had been rescued and seperated from his parents in Pangna has been identified. The boy is Hannes Bergstrom, 20 months old. Family members in Finland saw his picture on and contacted the boy’s uncle Tim Karkkinen in Pattaya who contacted the father Marko Bergstrom. Marko and the boy’s grandfather were staying in Khao Lak. hey are now in Pangna Hospital. No trace yet of the boy’s mother and grandmother. 27.12.04 19.35 THAI increases special flights and Changes Aircraft Type to Facilitate Passengers in Phuket. The airline announced a change to larger aircraft type and 2 special flights to facilitate passengers and the injured affected by the natural disaster, transporting them from Phuket to Bangkok.      Change of aircraft type for flights routed Phuket-Bangkok: – Flight TG218 departs Phuket at 1845 hours and arrives in Bangkok at 2020 hours, with a change to larger aircraft type utilizing Boeing 777-300 aircraft that equips 388 seats, 49 in business class and 339 in economy class. – Flight TG216 departs Phuket at 2135 hours and arrives in Bangkok at 2300 hours, with a change to larger aircraft type utilizing Boeing 747-400 aircraft that equips 389 seats, 64 in business class and 326 in economy class.      Increase special flights routed Phuket-Bangkok, to transport passengers and injured: – Flight TG SOS1 departs Phuket at 1915 hours and arrives in Bangkok at 2035 hours utilizing Boeing 777-200 aircraft that equips 358 seats. – Flight TG SOS2 departs Phuket at 0120 hours and arrives in Bangkok at 0240 hours utilizing Boeing 747-400 aircraft that equips 389 seats. 27.12.04 19.31 Accommodations in BKK for foreign tourists The Tourism Ministry has prepared over 1,000 rooms in Bangkok to accommodate foreign tourists whose hotels in Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi are destroyed by the tidal waves. All domestic airlines will arrange special flights to ship foreign tourists from the three provinces to Bangkok. All expenses will be shouldered by the ministry. 27.12.04 19.33 Tidal waves warning News Update by The Star Newsdesk says that Penang Meteorological Services Department has warned of possible series of smaller aftershocks that can trigger another tidal waves.      The department issued a warning for all marine and coastal activities to be minimised until 12.30pm on Wednesday.      It said the intensity of the aftershocks would be smaller compared with Sunday’s but could be destructive depending on the height of the waves and the location.      It also said new earthquakes could not be predicted. 27.12.04 17.59 The official figure of injured and casualties just released from the Thai Ministry of Interior is: 839 people dead 7,261 people injured. 27.12.04 17.58 The total figure of casualties for the region is now 22.800 people dead. 27.12.04 17.42 A Swedish toddler boy was brought in to Phuket International Hospital last night at 9 o’clock from Tai Muang in Pangna. The boy had been rescued by a couple but his parents have yet to be located. He responds to questions in Swedish and is believed to be three years old.      People who might have information leading to his identification are asked to contact Phuket International Hospital at +66 76 249 400 27.12.04 17.16 Possibly eight Norwegian dead incl. two in Sri Lanka The Norwegian Minstry for Foreign Affairs have received reports of five Norwegians who should have died in the disaster in Asia – two in Sri Lanka and three in the Phuket area. But the ministry is very cautious to confirm anything as they only know it second hand.      The Norwegian restaurant ‘2 Viking’ – an informal meeting place for many Norwegians – reports after having been in touch with the Norwegian embassy in bangkok that six Norwegians should have died in the disaster on Phi Phi and Phuket.      That could bring the Norwegian casualties as high as eight people.      Information from the Bangkok embassy that around 100 Norwegians is still on the list of not yet accounted for is also not confirmed by the Ministry in Oslo.      “We don’t want to release any numbers. We are working on it,” says spokeswoman Anne Lene Dale Sandsten to the daily VG.      Five persons in the ministry had throught the night answered around 1000 telephone calls from relatives.      Dale Sandsten refuses to guess how it will take before the Norwegian authorities have a full overview of the situation. 27.12.04 16.43 ScandAsia reporter Christer Nilsson was among the first foreign correspondents to yesterday morning make it to Phuket. Throughout the day he talked to numerous Swedes. His reports may be read on      One of them was Johanna Moe, 18, who had not yet found her friends. Another was a 10-year old Swedish boy who was sitting alone at the hospital. He had not seen his family since the wave.      The water broke our house apart and we were swept out”, Sven Österberg told him. He had injuries on his legs and feet His daughters Vendela, 10, and Andrea, 12, were shaken and their mother Marita is in bandages. “But we survived,” he said relieved. “Now we just want to go home.”      Christer Nilsson and photographer Diennis Thern had also been at the Swedish emergency center, where ambassador Jonas Hafstrom and Kennerth Carlsson was busy getting an overview.      “We are not sure, but we are afraid her relatives have been lost,” Kennerth Carlsson said about a Swedish women who had been vacationing at Khao Lak, some kilometers north of Phuket.      About forty Swedes was treated at the hospital, he visited. A similar number was reportedly treated at the Wachira hospital.      “Also the Swedish priest Lennart Hamark is working at the crisis center. Christer found him comforting a crying Swedish woman. 27.12.04 15.53 Maj Gen. Kokiet Wongworachart, commander of Phuket’s police force, said that 35 of the victims who have been confirmed dead on the island have been identified as foreigners. The number wold likely rise. 27.12.04 15.48 Families and friends, separated by the waves, had Monday tearful reunions after a day of fear that their loved ones had been swept away on this normally idyllic island and international resort.      Katri Seppanen, 27, of Helsinki, Finland, walked around barefoot, in her salt water-stained T-shirt and skirt, at the Patong Hospital waiting room where she spent the night with her mother and sister. She had a bandaged cut on her leg.      “The water went back, back, back, so far away, and everyone wondered what it was – a full moon or what? Then we saw the wave come, and we ran,” said a tearful Seppanen, who was on the island’s popular Patong beach with her family. 27.12.04 15.34 ScandAsia reporters Will Bharispol and Lars Pinnerup report from the emergency center, which has been set up in front of City Hall on Phuket, that army helicopers and trucks are constantly bringing in people from more remote areas.       Thai military has been working non-stop since 18.00 Sunday night with locating and evacuating people. A list of missing and dead has been put up in front of the City Hall, where people not yet in touch with friends and relatives are gathered.      About 500 -600 people are expected to arrive during the rest of the afternoon.      The two reporters have been visiting the Danish embassy emergency center, where Danes are registered as they come in and taken off lists of still missing. 27.12.04 14.28 Poul Weber of the Icelandic Consulate in Bangkok informs that Consul Mark Viravan is leaving for Phuket. Poul’s son Peter Weber working for the insurance company Europaeiske Rejseforsikring will this afternoon also go to Phuket. Poul Weber has also been in contact with the Danish Embassy’s emergency center on Phuket.      The Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs has operated an emergency telephone desk since noon Sunday. The Ministry is collecting information on Icelandic travellers and residents in the area that have not been accounted for. At 7 o’clock Sunday morning, there were about 60 persons on the list. The Ministry has been in contact with the families concerned.      The Ministry has ask all Consuls in the area to begin enquiries regarding possible Icelandic casualties. The Ministry will in the mean time continue with its enquiries into the whereabouts of the people in question and send the hopefully reduced list to Icelandic Consuls around noon Icelandic time today, Monday December 27th.      The emergency phone number of the Ministry is +354 545 9900, and e-mail [email protected] 27.12.04 14.30 Death toll reached 13,300 The death toll along southern shores of Asia – and as far west as Somalia on the African coast, where nine were reported killed – increased steadily as authorities sorted out a far-flung disaster caused by the 9.0-magnitude earthquake, the world’s strongest in 40 years. Worst-hit Sri Lanka and Indonesia had at least a million people each driven from their homes. 27.12.04 1.33 Norwegian Ministry for Foreign Affairs have reports of five Norwegians who have died in the disaster. Information officer Cathrine Andersen of the ministry says the information has been received from friends and family and not independently verified by the ministry itself.      “The Norwegian embassy in Bangkok around midnight last night said, they had a list of close to 100 Norwegians in the area whose whereabouts ha not been confirmed. 27.12.04 13.52 Norwegian national news agency NRK reported yesterday 26. Desember 2004, has made a deep impression in Norway. Extra newscast on radio and television have kept the public informed of the tragedy.      More than 3000 Norwegians are spending their Christmas holidays in Thailand alone. At the time of issuing the report, one Norwegian was so far confirmed dead in the popular resort town of Phuket, and many have been injured by the tidal wave. The Norwegian Department of Foreign Affairs is trying to contact as many as possible, but communication systems are destroyed in many areas, making this work very difficult, the departent said. 27.12.04 15.48 Danish media offer detail of 71 year old Dane who died in the Phuket disaster. The man was on the Karon Beach with his wife as the wave hit. The wife survived but the body of her husband had not been found. 27.12.04 12.38 The Royal Norwegian Embassy in Bangkok asks relatives and tourists in the affected areas to email: [email protected] and inform their name, current place where they stay, and phone number if any. Relatives who have reached tourists in the area or still not in contact with them may also call the embassy on +66 2 302 6415 so lists may be updated and help if needed be provided. Emails are preferred to [email protected]. 27.12.04 12.32 Fritidsresor is struggling together with the authorities and the Embassy staff to contact all guests on Phuket. It is especially difficult in the Khao Lak-området, north of Phuket, where the roads are difficult to pass and the phonelines are disrupted. Fritidsresors phone for relatives is open 24 hours on 08-720 74 69 and 08-720 72 00 27.12.04 12.17 Finland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs asks Finns to direct their inquiries regarding the earthquake in South East Asia on Sunday to the crisis centre of the ministry. The telephone number is 010 802 266. 27.12.04 12.11 A fresh tremor hit Indian islands far off the country’s eastern coast Monday, a day after massive waves triggered by an undersea quake killed at least 2,284 people in India.      The temblor at daybreak Monday in the Andaman and Nicobar islands in the Bay of Bengal had an initial magnitude of 6.0, said Jaya Chandran of the New Delhi-based Indian Meteorology Department.      Details on casualties and damage from the latest quake were not immediately known, the official said.      India was trying to recover Monday from the massive waves unleashed the previous day by the world’s biggest quake in 40 years, a 9.0-magnitude quake off Indonesia.      Official tallies of deaths in Indian states totaled 2,284, with the waves killing 1,705 people in Tamil Nadu state, 300 people in Bay of Bengal islands, 116 in Kerala state 102 people in the federal territory of Pondicherry, and 61 in Andhra Pradesh state.      Tamil Nadu was the worst affected, with waves sweeping away boats, homes and vehicles, said the state’s top elected official, Chief Minister Jayaram Jayalalithaa. 27.12.04 12.07 In Indonesia, the earthquake and the flood killed at least 4,448 people and left more than a million homeless, officials said. Most of the death and destruction occurred in Aceh province on the northern tip of Sumatra Island. Villages along the coast were flattened by tidal waves triggered by Sunday’s quake and floodwaters that surged as far as 10 kilometers (6 miles) inland.      At least 3,000 of the 4,448 people who died in that province were killed in the provincial capital Banda Aceh, either from flooding or quake damage, Health Ministry official Pitoyo said. 27.12.04 11.59 MyTravels phone number for relatives is +46 0771-231 231 Ministry of Foreign Affairs is +46 8-405 10 00 MyTravel’s staff in Phuket is contacting all guests. Guests should contact +66 18 930 307 Swedish Embassy emergency center: on Pearl Village Hotel on Nai Yang Beach near the airport – number +66 (0)76 32 71 16. The Swedish Ambassador Jonas Hafstrom and the Swedish priest Lennart Hamark is there. MyTravel Sverige has 2440 guests in the area. 27.12.04 11.49 Swedish travel agency Apollo informs: Apollo’s staff is working to get in contact with all guest in the afected areas. Apollo will keep its ordinary telephone line open for relatives who request information: +46 771-37 37 37 – 24 honours. Enbassy of Sweden has established an emargency center on Pearl Hotel, 42 Montri Road, Phuket 8300. Telephone: +66 76 21 10 44.      Under the circumstances all travels to the area has been cancelled. Free rebooking or cancellation of flight Malmö to Phuket BLX 933 (avg. tid 14:55), Göteborg to Phuket DK 205 (avg. tid 22:40) and Copenhagen Phuket DK 551 (avg. tid 15:45).      Relatives who have been contacted by Swedes in the area is encouraged to contact Apollo on the above number. or mail to [email protected] – emails will not be answered. Inform of toursts’ name, destination and if known the hotel they stay in. 27.12.04 11.39 The Royal Danish Embassy has established an emergency center on Pearl Hotel, Phuket City to assist the Danish nationals. The Danish Ambassador Ulrik Helweg Larsen and Danish Consul Ulrik Holt Sorensen are there and the center wll be re-inforced during Monday with more staff. From the center, the embassy is in constant contact with travel agents, travel insurance companies and local authorities to obtain information about Danes hit by the disaster. -end- 27.12.04 10.40 Two earthquakes rock Philippines Two moderate earthquakes rocked the Philippines early Monday, but no damage or injuries were reported, seismologists said. 27.12.04 10.31 Danish ministry of foreign affairs reports on three Danes died in Phuket. The dead are a 71 year old man from the Copenhagen area, a 63 yeatr old man from Aabenraa and a 10 year old boy from the Copenhagen area. The ministry fears the number may rise.

About Gregers Møller

Editor-in-Chief • ScandAsia Publishing Co., Ltd. • Bangkok, Thailand

View all posts by Gregers Møller

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *