Tsunami disaster – countries in crisis

Thai children receive comfort and care

BANGKOK, Thailand, 30 December 2004 - The body count continues to rise in Thailand after Sunday’s devastating earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean caused massive tidal waves that smashed into the south of the country. The official death toll from the tsunami disaster is nearly 2,000 with thousands more injured or missing.

A high proportion of those killed or injured are believed to be children. They make up one third or 600,000 of the 1.9 million population of the affected southern provinces, including Phang-nga, Krabi, Ranong, Satun, Trang and the popular vacation destination Phuket.

UNICEF Thailand is extremely concerned about the trauma children have suffered through the loss of parents and siblings, separation from their families and the effects of the visible signs of devastation – especially encounters with the dead bodies which litter many beaches. 

“There are many children who have lost their parents. We need to make sure they receive shelter and care and support and try to get them reunited with their families as soon as possible,” said UNICEF Representative in Thailand Inese Zalitis. “Nearly 600,000 thousand children have been affected, both Thai children and children who are tourists.”

UNICEF Thailand has dispatched a team of specialists to help the children who are suffering from the trauma of the tsunami and its aftermath.

In addition, UNICEF Thailand has also dispatched trained volunteers to the six provinces to provide children with food, clothing and other basic relief items.

 


 

 

Audio

30 December, 2004: UNICEF Representative in Thailand Inese Zalitis talks about how the 26 December tsunami has affected thousands of children in Thailand

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