France awaits news of nationals missing in Asia

4th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 4 (AFP) - France still has no news of hundreds of its nationals who were vacationing in south and southeast Asia when deadly tsunamis swept through the region last week, Foreign Minister Michel Barnier said Tuesday.

PARIS, Jan 4 (AFP) - France still has no news of hundreds of its nationals who were vacationing in south and southeast Asia when deadly tsunamis swept through the region last week, Foreign Minister Michel Barnier said Tuesday.

Barnier, speaking on Europe 1 radio, refused to give an exact total of those unaccounted for, saying only that "the number are evolving" and that the government wished to remain cautious out of respect for the families.

He urged all those who have returned from their Indian Ocean holidays to call the foreign ministry's emergency hotline as soon as possible.

Barnier said the official number of French citizens killed in the December 26 tsunami disaster remained at 22, with less than 100 others "missing in the waves and for whom we should be worried".

But the minister warned that even the number of missing and presumed dead was approximate, as some of those who were seen swept away in the giant waves that lashed holiday resorts on Indian Ocean shores had later been found alive.

Junior foreign minister Renaud Muselier said Sunday that the total number of French killed in the catastrophe could eventually exceed 150.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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