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US Marines Help Assess Bangkok

 

Ambassador Kenney greets U.S. Marines at Don Muang Airport. The U.S. Marines are part of a Humanitarian Assistance Survey Team (HAST) to determine how the U.S. might best provide assistance to the people of Thailand with the current flooding.

 

United States Marines arrived in Bangkok Saturday with equipment, sandbags and other relief supplies.  The U.S. ambassador to Thailand, Kristie Kenney, said the Marines will work with the Thai military to battle floodwaters that have hit 61 of Thailand’s 76 provinces.

A group of U.S. Marines arrived Saturday to help assess the situation and what help could be offered by the United States.

Officials say almost 300 people have died in Thailand, most of them north of Bangkok, in and near the ancient temple city of Ayutthaya.

Much of Ayutthaya remained under water Saturday, driving some residents, and their pets,  to the rooftops of homes to stay dry.  In less affected areas, where water was only waist deep, relief crews in boats distributed supplies to stranded residents.

A Dutch volunteer, Edwin Wiek, said many people in Ayutthaya have no electricity, food or water; others are sick and have no means of getting out.

Workers at the Bang Pa-in industrial center in Ayutthaya province tried to keep out rising water but had to abandon the effort Saturday.  News reports say the complex hosted more than 90 manufacturers of auto parts, electronics, garments and plastics.

Thais who doggedly stayed by their homes on Koh Kred Island tried to make their way through floodwaters that were chest- or neck-high.

US Marine Humanitarian Assistance Survey Team in Pathum Thani

Aid from China arrived Saturday in Cambodia, where flooding and landslides have killed 247 people. A Cambodian government spokesman said the relief supplies will go to hospitals in the hardest-hit areas.

Torrential rains and flooding are also being blamed for deaths in Vietnam and the Philippines.

Message to American Citizens: Update on Flooding in Thailand

Seasonal monsoon rainfall continues to flood wide areas of central Thailand and scattered locations in northern and northeastern Thailand. These conditions are expected to continue for at least several more days.

The Bangkok Metropolitan area has experienced localized flooding in northern and eastern areas and most reports indicate that the flooding risk for the Bangkok area will peak between October 16 -18.  As a purely precautionary measure, U.S. citizens assigned to the Embassy who live approximately 12 kilometers north of central Bangkok in Nichida Thani have the option of relocating for a few days to central Bangkok until the anticipated peak flood period subsides, should they wish to do so.  Extensive flooding in Thailand, especially in Central Thailand between Bangkok and Sukhotai, has caused considerable damage and loss of life.

In many flooded areas, surface transportation has either been suspended or diverted around those areas.  Portions of highways are closed and bus and train services linking Bangkok with points to the north are suspended.

If you are affected by the flooding and need urgent assistance, contact the Thai Government’s English-speaking Tourist Police, who can be reached nationwide by dialing 1155.

For general information you can contact the Government Call Center at 1111 ext. 5.  For Thai speakers,
there are hotlines for trains:  1690; buses:  1490; highway:  1586, 1784; and 1146 for local roads; highway police:  1193, and emergencies: 191.

You can see the Thai Meteorological Department’s weather forecasts and warnings at its website, www.tmd.go.th/en/.

We are also posting general information, guidance about the flood situation, and resources for U.S. citizens on our website at: http://bangkok.usembassy.gov/flood_information.html.  Updated notifications with information for U.S. citizens are available via Twitter at @ACSBKK.

The American Citizen Services Unit of the U.S. Embassy (http://bangkok.usembassy.gov/service.html) is located at 95 Wireless Road in Bangkok, and can be reached by calling 66-2-205-4049, or by e-mailing acsbkk@state.gov.

The Embassy’s after-hours emergency telephone number is 66-2-205-4000.  The U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai (http://chiangmai.usconsulate.gov/service.html) is located at 387 Wichayanond Road in Chiang Mai.

The American Citizen Services Unit of the Consulate General can be reached by calling 66-53-107-777 and by e-mail at acschn@state.gov.  The after-hours emergency telephone number is 66-81-881-1878.

For the latest security information, you should regularly monitor the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet website (http://travel.state.gov), where current Worldwide Cautions, Travel Alerts, Travel Warnings and health-information resources can be found. You can also obtain up-to-date information on security by calling 1-888-407-4747 (toll free) in the U.S. and Canada or, for callers in other areas, by calling a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Eastern Time), Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

We encourage you notify us of your presence in Thailand by enrolling in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), available at https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/.

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