Who to call and how to offer help

Who to call and how to offer help - 31st December 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 61 2 6261 3305.

Centrelink has set up a tsunami assistance hotline for affected Australians seeking information about their entitlements, counselling, medical or health information or inquiring as to whether their medical skills can be utilised: 1800 057 111.

The Thai Welfare Association offers counselling and assistance to Thai people living in Australia and can be contacted on (02) 9264 3166 or at http://www.thaiwelfare.org It is also accepting donations and advises that the best source of official information about missing relatives and friends is the hotline in Thailand on 0011 66 2 643 5262.

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 aus-phuket@inet.co.th 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. There is an Australian official at the city hall in Phuket Town, where Thai officials are processing people being evacuated from nearby islands. There is also an office at the Maritime Resort Spa in Krabi.

India: Coastal areas of southern and eastern India and, 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. Australians in Sri Lanka seeking consular assistance should contact the high commission on +94 11269 8767.

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. Travellers are encouraged to leave by commercial flights.

Indonesia: The west coast of northern Sumatra, including Aceh province and offshore islands.

Malaysia: 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 http://www.smarttraveller.gov.au Donations

PLAN 1800 038 100 or http://www.plan.org.au

CARE Australia 1800 020 046 or http://www.careaustralia.org.au

Australian Red Cross 1800 811 700, http://www.redcross.org.au or post a cheque to GPO Box 9949 in capital cities.

Oxfam 1800 034 034 or http://www.oxfam.org.au

Medecins Sans Frontieres 1800 788 100 or http://www.msf.org.au

UNICEF 1300 884 233, 1300 732 240 or http://www.unicef.org.au

World Vision 13 32 40 or http://www.worldvision.com.au

Baptist World Aid Australia 1300 789 991, Locked Bag 122, Frenchs Forest NSW 2086, or http://www.shareanopportunity.org

Caritas Australia 1800 024 413 or http://www.caritas.org.au

Australian Foundation for Asia Pacific 1800 007 308, http://www.afap.org

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies: (02) 9419 7011

Save the Children 1800 760 011 or http://www.savethechildren.org.au

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


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Sydney Morning Herald - World News





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