Day 4 — reinforcement and efforts move to Bangkok

29.12.04
22.35
The Norwegian emergency centre established at Bangkok Phuket International Hospital was today, Wednesday reinforced with a team of doktors and nurses and local volunteers.
Stein Vangen, priest with the Norwegian Seamen’s Mission in Singapore who came to Phuket early in the unfolding of the rescue efforts, said to ScandAsia that more personnel will also come up from the Norwegian Church in Singapore Thursday.
The general situation is slowly calming down, said Rasmus Hansson, a Norwegian tourist who is helping out at the emergency center. During the day, some of the people listed as missing has also been located and taken off the list.
For Norwegians in Norway related to Thailand, Jan Ove Brenden on his web portal bangkok.no informs that the team from the organisation leger uten grenser is not the only organisation who has scrambled. Others are:
Kirkens Nødhjelp
Røde Kors http://www.redcross.no/Article.asp?ArticleID=9857
Redd Barna http://www.reddbarna.no/
Leger uten grenser http://www.leger-uten-grenser.no/
Frelsesarmeen http://www.frelsesarmeen.no/
Salvation Army http://www.salvationarmy.org/
CARE http://www.care.no/

29.12.04
21.16
A Thai government official has given Reuters a list showing that, out of the country’s toll of more than 1,500 confirmed dead, 473 were known to be foreigners, among them 54 Swedes, 49 Germans, 43 Britons and 84 identified only as Caucasian.
Rescue workers had recovered 1,200 bodies at Khao Lak beach, north of Phuket island, and the toll there could rise to 3,000, police said. More than 300 dead had been found on Phi Phi island.
Throughout the region more than 3,500 foreigners were unaccounted for, among them at least 1,500 Swedes, 800 Norwegians, 214 Danes and 200 Finns.

29.12.04
20.38
Another three Danes are now confirmed dead in the disaster. The total list from the Danish foreign ministry is thus six people – five in Thailand and one in Sri Lanka.
The ministry is applying a cautious approach:
19 Danes are missing. This means it may be feared they are dead.
200 Danes have not been located. This means their relatives have not been able to contact them, but there should be no reason to belive they have died.

29.12.04
19.53
The Thai website with injured and dead from the disaster has moved (again) to an improved functionality website. The address is:
http://www.missingpersons.or.th
The site also has started uploading photos of unidentified dead people. It also offer inputs of lost people in addition to the list of the dead and the injured. Plus a button to click when the person is found.

29.12.04
18.38
Thai TV has throughout the day several times broadcast an short interview with a Swedish woman expressing her gratitude to the Thai people for their helpfulness. Thai people have been so helpfull with everything, so wonderful, she said, adding that she would be looking forward to coming back again.

29.12.04
18.35
NationMaster.com is compiling regional statistics relating to the unfolding catastrophe in South and South-East Asia this week. These are being updated periodically as figures come to hand. They are available right now from http://www.nationmaster.com/cat/disasters and they include:

Death toll –
Economic impact –
Foreign tourists missing –

Foreigners death toll –
International aid packages –

29.12.04
18.33
Thai rescue teams have today moved 68 dead victims from Phi Phi island to Chaifa harbour in Krabi. There are 180 bodies waiting on Phi Phi island for transportation.
Almost all survivors have been evacuated. Thai teams are combing the forrest on the island for any fleeing individuals who might still be there.

29.12.04
18.10
Vibeke Lyssand Leirvaag has been assisting as a volunteer all day. On her way to the Thammasat University campus to meet two Norwegians there she mentioned the need to distribute the photo of Martin Aanstad on ScandMail.
Vibeke says more volunteers will be needed. The centre for assisting Swedes and Norwegians is at the Scandinavian Church, Sukhumvit Soi 33 (look for the sign 500 meters into the soi). Phone 02 261 5750

29.12.04
17.57
ScandAsia staff Disraporn Yatprom, who went to Phuket this morning with the Thai Airforce team to assist with handling dead and injured has reported the recovery of two Swedish passports in Khao Lak belonging to Mr Robert Viktor Johansson and Ms. Asa Catarina Johansson. Khun Disraporn can be contacted on +66 6 788 2050.
(See further down for a Danish passport found.)

29.12.04
17.08
The following updated Swedish advice – useful also for other nationals – is posted on:

The Swedish Foreign Ministry is working closely with the Scandinavian Church which has become Bangkok center for the efforts to help Swedish people as they come up from the affected areas in the South.
The Ministry has the following advice to Swedes if they are in the area down South:
Seek help from the Thai emergency staff and follow their advice
Try yourself to inform your relatives by phone, sms or email
Seek contact with your travel agency, insurance agency or airline to arrange home transportation
Call the Embassy in Bangkok at 02 263 72 00
Contact the Swedish emergency center in Phuket at Pearl Village Hotel på Nai Yang Beach near the airport

For Swedes arriving Bangkok, the following advice:
At the airport in Bangkok embassy staff and Swedish volunteers are trying to catch Swedes and provide help if needed.
They will advice on accomodation and home transportation and assist with money transfer.
If you are Bangkok already: Go to the Scandinavian Church for contact. Here embassy staff and volunteers are also assisting with emergency money loans and provisional passport:
Scandinavian Church
63 soi 33 Sukhumvit Road
Soi Daeng Udom
Bangkok 10110

Advice if you are worried for relatives:
Try first to contact yourself by phone, sms, email
Ask the travel organizer (links and phone numbers on http://www.ud.se/
Call the ministry in Stockholm 08-405 41 00 – the lines may be busy
Call the embassy in Bangkok +662 263 72 00 – the line may be unanswered if all staff are talking to others. Try again later.
Call the Thai ministry for foreign affairs crisi center:
+662 643 52 62
+662 644 72 45
+662 644 72 49 or
+662 643 50 00
Extention 5002, 5056 or 5510.
Visit http://www.mfa.go.th

The embassy needs Swedish volunteers to help handle the many tourists. Especially people with previous experience in health care and crisis management.
Contact: Mariette Persson 02 263 72 22

Other contact points in Sweden:
Euro-Alarm: +45 70 10 90 50
SOS-International: +45 70 10 50 50
Nordic Assistance: +46 8 587 717 00

Travellers can arrange for fast money transgfer themselves through Western Union or MoneyGram. You need one in Sweden to pay in money to the service provider.
Immediately after you can get the money in Thailand.
Western Union and MoneyGram have representatives at banks and shops many places in Bangkok and elsewhere in Thailand.
Wester Unions website for more information:
http://www.westernunion.com/

29.12.04
16.35
SAS last night the 28.12.04 send a flight with crew to Thailand in coordination between the Nordic ministries for foreign affairs to help with the evacuation of Nordic people. The flight is scheduled to depart tomorrow at 9 o’clock.
It is expected that there will be 7 – 10 similar extraordinary flights during the next few days with a combined capacity of 1000 passengers. The flights are paid for by the insurance agencies or the travellers individually.
The Danish emergency center in Phuket has been reinforced with the Danish priest from Singapore, informs the Danish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

29.12.04
16.22
SAS will have aspecial flight to Scandinavia tomorrow Thursday morning at 9.00 with passengers selected by the Nordic embassies as the people most in need of home transportation.

29.12.04
15.52
ScandAsia staff Disraporn Yatprom, who went to Phuket this morning with the Thai Airforce team to assist with handling dead and injured has reported a found Danish passport in Khao Lak belonging to Ms. Mariager Henni Falborg. Khun Disraporn can be contacted on +66 6 788 2050.

29.12.04
15.07
Jarkko Harmala of Finnair has been coordinating the Finnish emergency flights directly from Phuket to Helsinki. Finnair operates normally three flights weekly to Phuket. Jarko Harmala says they had two flights out of Phuket on Monday, three flights on Tuesday and two flights today, Wednesday to bring all Finnish and Scandinavian tourists back home.

29.12.04
13.51
There are now only three Icelandic nationals unaccounted for, consul Poul Weber says. The Thai Consul General has for the past few days been helping down in Phuket.

29.12.04
13.49
The Finnish priest in Bangkok who is normally working closely with Samitivej Hospital is now on Phuket assisting Finnish people.

29.12.04
13.16
Danish Consul Ulrik Holt Sorensen is today on his way to Krabi. The consul and Ambassador Ulrik Helweg-Larsen is being praised by people on the spot for a tremendous effort. Please ignore any negative news in Danish media.

29.12.04
12.56
Anders Normann, Consul General of Thailand, is stationed in Don Muang where he is receiving Danish travellers as they come up from Phuket and other areas in the South.
“We send them to the Danish Embassy, where they are helped with money, passport, accomodation as they come. Some individual travellers go by themselves to the Thammasat University in Rangsit where Thai and foreign volunteers are helping. We have been there but found no Danes,” Anders says.
“This is gruesome. I have been forty years in Thailand but never experienced anything as horrible as this. It is like live reality TV show of the worst kind except you are not watching it but being in the middle of it.”
At the Danish embassy, if you are willing to assist, please contact the emergency numbers to see if or when they need you: 02 343 1100 or 01 834 8010

29.12.04
12.50
The Swedish former priest at the Scandinavian Church has arrived and reinforced the team at the Scandinavian Church together with other staff from Sweden.

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