Dutch tsunami 'untraceable list' falls further

10th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

10 January 2005, AMSTERDAM — The Foreign Affairs Ministry has reduced the number of Dutch nationals still untraceable following the Boxing Day Indian Ocean tsunami to 35. This is in addition to the 30 people listed as missing and who are believed to be dead.

10 January 2005

AMSTERDAM — The Foreign Affairs Ministry has reduced the number of Dutch nationals still untraceable following the Boxing Day Indian Ocean tsunami to 35. This is in addition to the 30 people listed as missing and who are believed to be dead.

The ministry said in a press release on Monday that the "difficult to trace" people were possibly in the region hit by the tsunami and have not been heard from since. Some 40 people were listed as untraceable on Saturday, down from 60 on Friday.

Shortly after the disaster, the ministry said about 500 Dutch nationals might have been in the region, but many have them since confirmed their whereabouts after an urgent plea from Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende and the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Another group of about 30 Dutch nationals are officially listed as missing. It has been confirmed they were staying in the region hit by the tsunami that was caused by a quake on 26 December. The ministry suspects that this group of people did not survive the disaster.

The ministry also said on Saturday that the 8th Dutch fatality from the tsunami had been confirmed. The victim was killed in Thailand and was included in the list of missing persons. Dutch authorities fear the number of deaths and missing persons could still rise.

In total, seven bodies have been identified in Thailand and one in Sri Lanka. Foreign Affairs Minister Ben Bot warned MPs on Friday that the bodies of some of the other missing Dutch nationals would probably never be recovered.

There were still five Dutch nationals in Thai hospitals on Saturday, with injuries varying from severe to minor. Dutch motorist and insurance association ANWB expects most of the injured will return home to the Netherlands this week.

Meanwhile, the Dutch government has donated EUR 29 million to relief efforts in the disaster area and Minister Bot expects that this figure will rise in the coming period. The Netherlands has also dispatched personnel and material to the region.
 
And speaking at a special ASEAN leaders' summit in Jakarta on Thursday, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso unveiled an additional package of up to EUR 450 million in humanitarian and reconstruction aid.

Together with the individual donations of the 25 EU member states and the European Commission, the total official aid package now amounts to about EUR 1.5 billion.

The total death toll from the tsunami is believed to be more than 150,000.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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