Thursday, 30 December 2004

Indian Ocean Tsunami Warnings & Helpful Hints - charities & contacts 2004/12/29/1103996616211.html

Indian Ocean tsunami disaster: Who to call and how to help

December 30, 2004

Foreign Affairs help lines
The Department of Foreign Affairs has two toll-free help lines. The first is for people concerned about relatives or friends in tsunami-affected areas: 1800 002 214. The second is for Australians in disaster zones who need help from embassy staff: +61 1300 555 135 or 6261 3305.

Travel advisories
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has issued warnings about these areas:
Thailand: The west coast and islands, including Phuket, and southern region (Ranong province and all provinces to the south). A temporary consulate has been established at the Hilton Hotel to assist Australians in the surrounding islands and can be contacted on +66 76 370 672 or Phuket Airport is operating and travellers are encouraged to leave by commercial flights. A Department of Immigration and Indigenous Affairs officer will be at Phuket Airport to provide travel documents to Australians who have lost their passports.
India: Coastal areas of southern and eastern India plus, in particular, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Sri Lanka: The east coast from Trincomalee in the north-east to Galle in the south. Colombo Airport is operational. Travellers are encouraged to leave by commercial flights. Four-wheel-drive vehicles are being used to transport Australians to Colombo and the Sri Lankan Air Force will also help stranded Australians who are south of Colombo.
Maldives: Avoid all travel to the Maldives until further notice. A British team has set up an emergency consulate at the Iskander school in Male. An Australian official will join these consuls for any Australians in the Maldives who require assistance. The airport in Male is operating and travellers are encouraged to leave by commercial flights.
Indonesia: The west coast of northern Sumatra, including Aceh province and offshore islands.
Malaysia: The resort islands of Penang and Langkawi were hit by the tsunami, but escaped the devastation of other areas. The department advises those heading there to check with local authorities and hotels that it is safe to travel there.

More information and updated advice from the department at

PLAN: Vist or call 1800 038 100.
CARE Australia: 1800 020 046 or
Australian Red Cross: Call 1800 811 700, visit or post a cheque to GPO Box 9949 in capital cities.
Oxfam: 1800 034 034 or
Medecins Sans Frontieres
UNICEF: 1300 884 233, 1300 732 240 or
World Vision: 13 32 40 or
Baptist World Aid Australia: Call 1300 789 991, by mail to Baptist World Aid Australia, Locked Bag 122, Frenchs Forest NSW 2086, or
Caritas Australia: 1800 024 413 or

Some banks are also allowing donations to be made to various charities at their branches.

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