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Friday, January 07, 2005

About 1,500 Finns are still missing in Thailand

Out of approximately 2,000 Finnish visitors to Thailand that went missing after last week’s killer tsunami, only 500 have so far been located, Thai authorities said yesterday.

Finland’s Minister for Social Affairs and Health Sinikka Monkare and Finnish Ambassador to Thailand Heikki Tuumanen thanked the Kingdom for its handling of cases of Finnish tourists missing, injured and killed in the wake of the tragic disaster that ravaged Thailand’s Andaman coast on December 26.

The Thai authorities welcomed Finland’s stated willingness to help Thailand set up a tsunami warning system.

The Thai Public Health Ministry, meanwhile, received durable goods, medical supplies, medicines, foodstuffs and other goods worth more than Bt25 million donated by 168 Finnish companies.

Monkare and Tuumanen voiced their appreciation during an assembly at the Sofitel Central Plaza Hotel.

Thai authorities pledged to spare no effort in locating the missing Finnish tourists.

The Finnish government will provide DNA blueprints of relatives of the missing for possible matching with DNA samples already collected in Thailand.

Meanwhile, Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany yesterday recalled his ambassador to Thailand for failing to break off his vacation in the aftermath of the tsunami disaster, Agence France-Presse reported.

The ambassador, Janos Vandor, was on holiday in Hungary during Christmas and New Year and only returned to his post in Bangkok on January 5 – more than a week after the tsunami claimed nearly 150,000 lives in southeast Asia.

“After a review of the case, I ordered the [foreign] minister to recall Janos Vandor with immediate effect and relieve him” of his position, Gyurcsany told a press conference in Budapest.

The foreign ministry said that only five of the hundreds of Hungarian tourists in the region at the time of the tsunami remained unaccounted for. Three were in Thailand and one each in Indonesia and Sri Lanka.
4 Comments Post a Comment
Anonymous Anonymous said :

I was in Finland when this sad event occured. I can tell you for sure that, fortunately, the real figures are not as pessimistic as those you're presenting. The Finnish National Bureau of Investigation regularly updates the list of missing people, and according to the latest update (Fri, Jan 7th, 16:00 GMT+2), 176 Finns are still missing.

There's a big controversy right now in Finland about politicians who chose not to cancel their planned holidays in Thailand. For example Sinikka Mönkäre, Minister for Social Affairs, is currently spending three weeks golfing in Thailand. Jyrki Katainen, head of the right-wing Kokoomus party, is leaving for Thailand on Friday morning. Some say they should have cancelled their trips. These two politicians chose to go all the same, saying that people shouldn't cancel their trips to SE Asian countries in which tourism is a major source of livelihood.

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Anonymous Thailand property said :

A tsunami is a series of waves created when a body of water, such as an ocean, is rapidly displaced. Earthquakes, mass movements above or below water, volcanic eruptions and other underwater explosions, landslides, large meteorite impacts comet impacts and testing with nuclear weapons at sea all have the potential to generate a tsunami. The effects of a tsunami can range from unnoticeable to devastating.
It is great adversity for people who live near sea or ocean.
Each year tsunami takes hundred and hundred people. It is a really sad statistic.

10:08 AM