The emergency office of the Danish embassy at Pearl Hotel in Puket asks all Danes who wish to return on one of the special airlift flights tomorrow to urgently contact the office on Phuket on: 01 935 7811 or 01 905 1259
Long time Danish visa overstayers, this is the chance you have been waiting for!
In a statement issued by the Danish minister for foreign affairs, Mr. Per Stig Møller published today about the special airtlift established together with SAS, the minister says:
“I wish to stress, that all Danes can board these flights. It will not be necessary to show passport or anything else if such documents have disappeared in the disaster. People, who wish to go home, just have to inform name, ID number and their address. The most important is that Danes who wish to come home can do so.”
– and on this light note, your editorial team will leave you for tonight..
“This is the biggest tragedy Sweden has suffered for many, many years,” Swedish Foreign Minister Laila Freivalds told Reuters on Thursday, referring to the Sunday earthquake and tidal waves.
“This will affect Swedish lives for a long time to come,” Sweden’s Prime Minister Goran Persson said, shortly after King Carl XVI Gustaf made a rare public broadcast to express his grief.
Sweden planned to fly flags at half mast on New Year’s Day.
Norway’s Foreign Minister Jan Petersen said the tsunami threatened to become one of the worst disasters for his nation in modern times.
Scandinavia’s biggest recent disaster was in 1994, when 852 people died on the Baltic ferry Estonia, 551 of them Swedes.
The Danish-Thai Society yesterday decided to donate 25,000 Danish kroner – some 180,000 baht – til the Ministry for Foreign Affairs emergency fund, board member of the society, Mr. Peter Sontidech informs.
Chairman of the society Svend Drachmann decided together with other board members to donate the funds in the hope that the amount will be used to help the many suffering Thai victims of the disaster.
The doantion was transferred to MFAs acct. no. 002-6-18400-1 in Krung Thai Bank, Sam Yod Branch via SWIFT-KRTHTHBK igennem Danske Bank, Charlottenlund afdeling.
Peter Sontidech may be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org
The Danish police took Thursday around midnight Thai time over the responsibility for the further search for missing Danes from the Danish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
At the time of the take-over, the official list of dead Danes in Thailand stood at six persons and the list of feared dead was 23 Danes. In Sri Lanka one Dane is confirmed dead and two are feared dead.
The search is complicated by the utter devastation of some of the areas where the missing persons were vacationing.
The Foreign Minstry requests contact regarding missing persons to be directed to the police instead of the minsitry as of now.
The ministry adds, that in order to continue the search it is important that information from relatives about the missing persons is given to the Danish police as soon and as detailed as possible. Relatives should contact local police stations in Denmark to provide all available information.
The Thai authorities have set up a center for visitors from abroad who want to come and search for their relatives and friends who are still missing after the tidal waves in the south of Thailand. To get the first hand information, visitors arriving at Terminal 1 of Don Muang International Airport should call +66 (0) 2535-3946. For Terminal 2, please call +66 (0) 2535-5056.
This to inform you that the Icelandair flight (swee below) went back today from Phuket to Stockholm, carrying 200 Swedes.
Four Swedes have been reported found on http://www.missingpersons.co.th, which is the official website for registration of missing persons from the earthquake and tidal waves in the south of Thailand.
The four names reported to have been found are: Mrs. Aase Malmborg, Mr. Kjell Malmborg, Mr. Lennart, Mr. Sandra Malmborg, and Mr. Tobias Malmborg.
Other missing Swedes registered on the website are:
Keyword: Sweden Ms. Amanda Mr. Anders Mrs. Helena Mr. Lennart Mr. Tommy Rydestål Karls Keyword: Swedish Anna Kjellander Mrs. Boel Ms. Camila Rodin Mrs. Camilla Nilsson Ms. Carina Girl Charlott Mr. Christian Rodin Ms. Frida Rodin Ms. Heda Rodin Mr. Magnus Ms. Mikaela Mr. Nils Pumintr Mr. Ola Keyword (Thai language): ÊÇÕà´¹ Mr. Matthias
Some lists on the Internet of people declared dead are inaccurate. ScandAsia was made aware of the fact as a list of “confirmed dead from the Krabi area” published on our page are certainly not dead.
The list – from the Phuket emergency center – has been removed from our page. But the Danish Foreign Ministry says, the internet has several lists on other websites as well, which mistakenly list people alive as among the casualties of the disaster.
PM Thaksin: 80% of missing people probably have died Up to 20,000 people are involved in the search and rescue efforts in Southern Thailand, as the dead toll could reach 6,800, according to Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
“There are many people listed as missing and we think that 80 percent of them are dead,” Thaksin told reporters, adding that twenty percent may have just lost contact.
The Interior Ministry says 1,975 people are confirmed killed and 6,043 are missing after the huge tidal waves battered southwestern resort areas on Sunday.
Overworked and under-equipped Thai forensic teams are trying to take DNA samples from each corpse before either burying them in mass graves or stacking them in refrigerated containers, where available.
Decisions on how to dispose of the bodies became increasingly urgent in 33 degree Celsius (92 Fahrenheit) temperatures.
The Scandinavian Church in Bangkok (Sukhumvit 33) is now turned into the Scandinavian Center for the tidal waves crisis in Thailand. Registrations – at any hospital and emergency/relief center – of Scandinavian nationals affected by the disaster are requested to be reported to the center via phone number +66 2261-5750 or fax +66 2258-5649.
This will greatly help Scandinavians find friends and relatives, and the Scandinavian community here in evaluating situation and decide on actions needed.
Maritime Park & Spa Resort, Krabi is now used as the forensic center in Krabi. The center’s telephone number is +66 75 632660. To contact the resort hotel, call +66 75 620028 – 46 or fax +66 75 612-992.
Niels Sundvik, formerly Commercial Counsellor at the Embassy of Sweden in Bangkok and currently Consulate General of Sweden in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) was in Phuket with his family, as the disaster struck.
”The tsunami spared the lives of our daughter Helene, her husband Michel, and their lovely daughters Stephanie (5) and Danielle (2),” Niels Sundvik, now back in Saigon, reports.
”However, the family of my brother-in law’s daughter Louise, her husband Jonas and their two small children tragically perished in the huge wave that hit the coast just north of Phuket, where they were staying at a bungalow hotel, which was completely wiped out. My family and I share in the unfathomable grief of my brother-in-law Lennart and Louise’s brothers and sister.”
Nils Sundvik describes what happened to him.
”I was in my apartment on Kamala Beach Estate when I was alerted by the staff that the first wave had come rolling in and that more were expected. All residents assembled on the highest level of the compound, where we were reasonably safe but sadly watched the second, larger, tsunami devastate the village of Kamala, where many local people died and almost all became homeless. Three of the apartments on our grounds were washed out but their residents had been warned in time for them to flee. Ultimately, we left the compound for a safer place and were relocated to a school where we were well taken care of.”
”Helene and her family were staying at the Meridien Hotel quite far away. For 24 hours we had no contact at all and I was terribly worried that they might have been caught having breakfast on the beach. I ultimately learned that they were indeed having breakfast but just a bit higher up and could flee up a mountain in nothing but their swinsuits. They spent the afternoon there and were later moved to another hotel, where we finally got together. We spent most of the following days and nights trying to contact Louise and her family and find information through the Phuket Disaster Center and the Swedish Embassy. In addition to the 1.600 persons reported dead in the area, they are among the more than 2.000 still missing and presumed to have lost their lives.”
Tina Zalimee, Nordic Travel Co, Ltd. reports that life is returning to normal in the affected areas in the South of Thailand. ”I have today talked to several of our guests in Krabi who are all well and confirm that life is returning to normal on Aonang Beach in Krabi,” Tina Zalimee writes.
”The hotels on Railey Beach have reported that they have repaired the water front building damaged and open up again on 1 January 2005.”
”On Phi Phi island, three hotels – Phi Phi Island village, Holiday Inn, Phi Phi Natural Resort – are undamaged and regular boat service has resumed. Phi Phi Island village had yesterday 47 bungalows rented out and around 100 guests have remained there.
”Our guests in the Trang area, south of Krabi, were the least affected and life on Koh Hai and the more luxurious Amari Trang Beach Resort is back to normal.”
”Life goes on depiste the condition of chock we are all experiencing.”
Tina Zalimee donated Tuesday and Wednesday clothes, towels and some of her guests in Bangkok donated blood at the Red Cross center. Having spent 18-20 hours on the phone and replying to emails since the disaster struck, Tina Zalimee says she is deeply thankful for all the compassion she has met.
”It is obvious that in situations like this we are capable of mobilising energy and power one would never had thought one capable of.”
A Service Center for free translation and certification of death certificates has been set up by the Thai Foreign Ministry located at the VIP Lounge of the domestic terminal, Don Muang Airport.
The centre informs that the four Nordic Embassies have now provided personnel to translate into Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish and Danish languages and no longer need assistance from volunteers. Initially, the center was able to translate Thai-English only.
Last night an Icelandair flight landed at Phuket carrying drinking water, as requested by the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The water was picked up by the Thai Navy this morning for distribution to the areas, where drinking water has been contaminated by salt water, informs Poul weber.
Foreign Minister, Dr. Surakiart Sathirathai, has entrusted the Permanent Secretary to hold a meeting today, 30 January 2004 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in order to discuss and update on the latest situation in the affected provinces of Thailand with representatives of concerned embassies to ensure smooth and efficient coordination on the relief efforts for the foreign victims. All directors of the regional departments in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs responsible for relations with those countries have also been instructed to coordinate closely with the embassies everyday during the New Year Holiday.
SAS started yesterday an operation to send thirteen extra flights to Thailand during the next two days.
The airlift is arranged by request of the Scandinavian governments.
“We are pleased that we can do our part in helping those who have been affected in Thailand by using this airlift,” says Lars Lindgren, head of Scandinavian Airlines International who is responsible for SAS intercontinental traffic.
“Together with the existing capacity from the scheduled daily departures from Bangkok in the following days, we count on being able to bring home around 3500 passengers.”
Four of the thirteen flights will go to Oslo, six to Arlanda and three to Copenhagen. The flights will go to both Bangkok and Phuket. Boeing 737-800 and Airbus 330/340 aircraft will be used. The first two planes left Arlanda before lunchtime yesterday, Scandinavian time.
“We see ourselves as the airline of the Scandinavian people, and of course we do what we can to help to rescue Scandinavians, who have been affected by this tragic catastrophe,” says Anders Ehrling, CEO for Scandinavian Airlines Sweden.
“We are now receiving daily calls from pilots as well as cabin attendants who are prepared to volunteer their help. I also know that my colleagues in SAS Braathens in Norway and Scandinavian Airlines in Denmark see the situation in the same way.”
Poul Weber, consul of Iceland, reports that all Icelandic nationals are now accounted for.
Poul Weber encourages Scandinavians to put their names on a phone list of people able to translate over the telephone. It is organized by fellow Rotarian Tom Hoar of Say It! Communications Ltd.
Tom Hoar’s mobile is 06 613-2653. Or contact Poul Weber at 01 815 9963. If Tom Hoar’s office gets a call from anyone who needs interpretation in your language, the call will be put through to you and you can then assist the person.
Poul Weber has already offered Danish-Thai language translation.
Vicki Weber went this morning to Thammasat University compound with a friend to help out.
Lars Bank, resident Dane, was yesterday helping out at the Thammasat University.
“All who have come up from the South are already sendt to Denmark or have been guided obwards on their vacation all according to their individual requests,” he reports.
Lars Bank went early this morning go back to the campus. He adds that Thai language students – one of them Danish speaking – came by the campus but later went to the airport to help out there instead.