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Thailand joins in Nepal relief effort

Thailand’s government donated more than $3 million last week and is sending over 350 doctors and aid workers to earthquake-hit Nepal as part of international relief efforts, as private citizens all around the Kingdom also opened their hearts and their wallets to appeals to donate funds for the victims.
 
King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Thailand’s revered constitutional monarch, and Queen Sirikit also responded by donating 10 million baht (approximately $305,000) in aid to those devastated by the April 25 earthquake. The quake registered 8.1 on the Richter Scale, killed in excess of 6,200 people, injured tens of thousands with countless others still missing, and destroyed entire villages, homes and historic structures in the Himalayan mountain nation. Estimates are that 2.8 million Nepalese have been left homeless.
 
Thailand feels a special kinship with Nepal because it was the birthplace of the Buddha, the founder of the religion practiced by most Thais. Many Thais have made pilgrimages to Nepal, and several have been involved in erecting a Buddhist temple and shrine at the Buddha’s birthplace in Lumpini.
 
A team of 67 Thai military experts in disaster relief has already arrived in Nepal. The team has military surgeons, military engineers, satellite communication experts and search-and-rescue staff. The team took equipment to produce clean drinking water, survival kits, generators, relief kits, instant food and medical supplies.
 
The Thai government assigned two C-130 Hercules transport aircraft to carry as many of the relief supplies as possible to Nepal. But the amount of goods collected has exceeded the aircraft’s capacity. The Royal Thai Navy said it was considering assigning one of its ships to ferry food and supplies donated by the government and the Thai people to the nearest port in India to Nepal, which is a landlocked country.
 
Army Commander in Chief General Udomdej Sitibutr said he was examining other options, however, because it would take at least 10 days for suppliers from a ship to reach Nepal. The need for rapid relief is urgent.
 
The Medical Council of Thailand set up online registration for volunteers, and as of around Monday last week a total of 350 doctors had signed their names. The Council asked volunteers to be ready to endure difficult conditions and hardships. Basic facilities, food or water in the disaster areas were nearly nonexistent because of the widespread destruction, so volunteers must be prepared for uncertainties.
 
Among the fatalities was Marisa Eve Girawong, a 28-year-old Thai-American doctor, who died when the earthquake triggered an avalanche that struck the base camp at the foot of Mt. Everest and Mt. Lhotse. She was preparing to climb Everest as the doctor or an expeditionary team and was already 17,500-feet up the mountain. Born in Thailand, she lived in Edison, New Jersey.
 
Thailand’s embassy in Kathmandu said all of the 66 other Thais in Nepal were safe following the earthquake.
 
See the original article at Thailand Focus

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