Macao Government Tourism Office

 Press Release
2004 -12 -29
MGTO provides possible assistance to the Macau residents affected by the tsunamis (Translation)

After the strike of tsunamis unleashed by earthquake near the Indonesian island of Sumatra, the Macau Government Tourist Office Headquarter has received today (Dec. 29) till 5pm a total of 14 calls to (853) 315566, including 2 cases of inquiry, 9 requests for assistance and 3 calls from citizens providing relevant information.

At 5pm today, Macau Government Tourist Office Headquarter has received 51 calls --- 18 inquiries, 22 requests for assistance and 11 calls from citizens providing relevant information. The requests include seeking for assistance to search for missing relatives or friends in the affected areas and transportation arrangement. MGTO has taken prompt follow-up actions concerning the cases.

Two MGTO staffs, one Macau Government Information Bureau staff sent to Thailand and the MGTO's representation office in Thailand have assisted 33 Macau residents affected by the incidents in these two days. They have been providing assistances include arranging transportation from Phuket to Bangkok and transfers from hospitals in Phuket to hospitals in Bangkok, contacting and searching families and friends, arranging air ticket postponements and hotel accommodation, assisting in cases of lost travel documents and air tickets, arranging local transportation between airports and hospitals etc. Through the Macau International Dive Centre, MGTO sent over photos of the missing people identified by the Consulate General of Portugal in Macau to Thailand for the concerned institute to deploy divers to search for the missing.

At the same time, Macau residents who were traveling in Phuket when the incident happened voluntarily stayed to assist Macau residents in Phuket. With the support by MGTO, the volunteers continued to work closely with the team in Bangkok.

MGTO has sent the photo and information of the missing Macau residents to all the hospitals in Phuket, the Royal Thai Consulate General in Hong Kong and has also uploaded the relevant information to a website in Thailand, www.servicesmind.com which is specially set up for this incident to facilitate the searching work. Macau citizens can also surf the website www.phuketitcity.com in Thailand to search for relevant information and numbers for assistance.

MGTO has continued to liaise with the travel agencies in Macau. 18 travel agencies that has organized tours groups or issue tickets to the affected regions reported that 150 Macau residents were in the area, with 133 in Bangkok and Phuket, 9 in Indonesia and 8 in India. The agencies expressed that they have established contact with most of them, except for 10-odd, with few of them not in the affected area.

MGTO will continue to closely monitor the incident.

Health Bureau of Macau SAR Government expressed that the Hospital Central Conde de S. Januário is prepared to provide ambulance and medical services to the injured Macau residents when necessary.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (UT) has issued guidelines for Macau residents who will travel to the area affected by earthquakes and tsunamis. For details, please see the press release of the Health Bureau.