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Twenty Koreans are Dead or Missing and 336 People Have Lost Contact

Twenty Koreans are Dead or Missing and 336 People Have Lost Contact

Posted January. 02, 2005 22:36,   


Passports of two Korean individual travelers were discovered in Khaolak, Phanga-Nga province in Thailand on January 1, but whether or not they are alive has not been verified yet.

It is expected that the total number of missing people and the death toll will increase since most individual travelers like them are not counted in the total number of missing people.

There are 10 Koreans dead and eight missing Koreans registered from the seaquake tsunami in Thailand only as of January 2. When two missing Koreans in Indonesia are counted, there are 10 missing Koreans and 336 who have not been accounted for.

Additional casualties, whose corpses were discovered, are Ji Hyun-jin (24 years old, female) and Kim Hyoung-soon (45 years old, female), who were reported missing on Pipi Island. It is known that individual travelers, whose passports were discovered, include Ko Heung-sun, the 41-year-old son of the late singer Ko Bok-soo, and his expected bride Lee Geun-soon (31 years old).

Having arrived on December 19, the couple left for Khaolak for an individual trip after finishing a city tour, but contact with them has been lost since December 25.

A Korean resident in Thailand Kim Yong-dae (39 years old), who runs traveler’s lodgings, said “At least five more deaths among individual travelers occurred.”

Consul General Jung-pyo Cho, who is currently staying in Phuket, forecasted that the total death toll would reach about 20.

About 10 surviving families of missing people in Khaolak tried to find traces of their family, catching up with staff members of the National 119 Rescue Service at sunrise.

About 30 people including a medical jurisprudence team from the National Scientific Inspection Service, a fingerprint identification team from police headquarters, embassy officials, and travel agency staff verified the identification of corpses in a special place for corpses that were discovered on Pipi Island in Krabi in southern Thailand.

Choi Young-jin, deputy minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, met with Phuket Governor Udomsak on the morning of January 2 and requested the Korean victim identification team’s participation in multinational victim identification efforts and the rapid issuance of death certificates or missing people certifications.

The government of Thailand put people who frequent the damaged area under an obligation to take vaccinations of disinfection injections in order to prevent the spread of epidemics.

UN officials said on January 1 that casualties from the seaquake tsunami “will reach more than 150,000 people.” According to the United Nations, at present, approximately 5,000,000 survivors are keenly in need of living necessities, and cholera is a serious risk.

Hyung-June Park lovesong@donga.com