Skip to comments.Southeast Asia death toll reaches 23,000, fears grow for 540 Israelis missing in SE Asia
Posted on 12/27/2004 6:04:21 AM PST by IAF ThunderPilot
The death toll from Sunday's natural disaster in Southeast Asia has reached 23,000, of them 12,000 in Sri Lanka, 6,000 in India, 4,700 in Indonesia and over 800 in Thailand.
In a press conference held Monday afternoon at the Foreign Ministry, Deputy Director General Nissim Ben-Sheetrit said that so far 450 Israelis in the region have been contacted. Ministry officials said earlier that over 500 were still unaccounted for.
According to Ben-Sheetrit, "I cannot say with certainty that there are no Israeli fatalities. We are examining this possibility and I hope there would not be any. Currently, between 7 and 14 Israelis are known to have been injured".
Israeli Foreign Ministry officials and doctors flew to Southeast Asia on Monday to search for missing Israeli tourists and provide assistance to countries struck by a massive earthquake and tidal waves.
Israeli army doctors are to offer medical assistance in Thailand and Sri Lanka, and army teams will look for missing Israelis in southern India.
Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom told Israel Radio Monday that there were a limited number of Israeli casualties and possibly fatalities in the tsunamis that struck the region.
According to Shalom, the number of Israeli tourists injured in the quake appeared to be lower than what had been initially believed.
Four Israeli tourists were reported as missing on Monday morning, acting Israeli Consul in Bangkok, Shlomi Kaufman, told Army Radio. According to Kaufman, "We received reports from people who said they had witnessed that something happened to those four".
Ten Israelis are hospitalized in hospitals in and around the southern Thai island of Phuket. All sustained light to moderate injuries.
In addition, it appears there are no foreign casualties on the islands of Andaman in the Indian Ocean. Dozens of Israelis are known to be on that island.
The Foreign Ministry situation room in Jerusalem: 02 5303155.
Shalom said Israel would assist its citizens in every way possible and also offered Israel's assistance to the nations struck by the natural disaster. The Ministry is focusing on getting Israelis onto buses in Bangkok, from where they will be flown to Israel.
Israel's national carrier, EL AL, said it would not charge extra fees or cancellation fees to people wishing to push back planned flights to Thailand, and added it would expedite the return flights of Israelis from Bangkok.
Israelis have so far not appeared on a list of foreign nationals killed in the disaster published by the Thailand Police. Most Israelis are reported to have made their way to Ko Phangang, far from the afflicted areas, for a series of full moon parties that started on Christmas Eve.
Foreign Ministry Director-General Ron Prosor said that Israel would dispatch $100,000 worth of medicine and food to Thailand and India, Israel Radio reported. In addition, a Foreign Ministry delegation including three top doctors from the Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem and an officer from the Home Front Command departed for the area to provide emergency assistance.
The death toll from the most powerful earthquake in four decades climbed steadily throughout Sunday as authorities counted bodies washed up on beaches and left hanging like ragdolls from trees. Foreign tourists were among the dead and the thousands of others who were reported missing. Tens of thousands fled the coasts for higher ground, fearing aftershocks and further flood surges.
On Monday afternoon, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz asked the Israel Defense Forces to ready a medical relief team for immediate dispatch to Thailand.
The IDF is also preparing to send humanitarian aid to the region, primarily Sri Lanka. The Defense Ministry said Monday that the teams would be sent as soon as their coordination with the ministry were completed.
Mofaz offered aid of two kinds - a search and rescue team from the Home Front Command, as well as consignments of food and medicines.
24,000 and still raising. Horrible.
I hope Israel would send as many rescue dogs as possible- they are probably amoung the most expirienced and best trained rescue dogs in the world...
Young Israelis are crazy about crawling around India and Southeast Asia.
It's like a rite of passage for them. Unfortunately, many of them do very stupid things on these trips.
I am afraid it is going to top 30,000 when it is all said and done....
540 Israelis dead?
YOU KNOW that Palistinians everywhere are cheering those deaths.
See #5. I'm speechless myself.
Yes, much of the world population lives next to the coast.
Prayers for all of those families suffering with fear, pain, grief, and loss.
Very sad. :^(
|An Acehnese women close her nose as she walks past thousands of dead bodies in the Indonesian city of Banda Aceh December 27, 2004. Soldiers searched for bodies in treetops, families wept over the dead laid on beaches and rescuers scoured coral isles for missing tourists as Asia counted the cost on Monday of a tidal wave triggered by an earthquake that killed thousands.|
Yes, and they tend to travel in packs and go to exactly the same spots (e.g., there's an Israeli-only hotel in Bangkok).
I'd bet on the Ko Phangang idea, that's on the other side of the isthmus and something that would appeal to Israeli backpackers.
And we're lucky this time, too. If the earthquake and subsequent tsunami had happened just two hours later the death toll could have substantially exceeded 100,000 people as there would have been a lot more people on the beaches and low-lying coastal areas.
That picture is heartbreaking.
Correct, there were 95 foot high waves in 1898 Japan that were completely not warned of..
Some go in packs; others wander alone for months (especially before/after their military service).
Anyone find it interesting that the USGS is the only agency that appears to know exactly what happened, in terms of seismic activity? There is no report from the "Indonesian Geological Survey." Everyone cites the US report.
One of the most heart-rending photos I've ever seen.
Lord, help them.
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