Over 150 Czechs missing after tsunami disaster, up to seven feared dead
As the full scale of the Indian Ocean disaster unfolds, there is still no information about the whereabouts of over 150 Czechs. Meanwhile, the Czech Republic is dispatching humanitarian aid to the region and Czech charities have started public collections.
"The information is false. The Nation newspaper says it got the information from us, it is not true. Fortunately, there are no fatalities confirmed among Czech nationals. But there are a number of people missing, those are serious cases, and also there are three injured people in Thai hospitals."
One of the three injured Czechs, he mentioned, is supermodel Petra Nemcova, a 2003 cover girl for Sports Illustrated magazine's swimsuit edition, who suffered a broken pelvis. Her British boyfriend, a fashion photographer, was swept out to sea and is missing but presumed dead. Another two seriously injured Czechs are in hospitals in Sri Lanka.
According to latest information, there is a strong suspicion that six or seven Czechs did not survive the tidal waves. But by midday on Thursday, nothing had been confirmed. The serious cases, are, for example, people who are known to have been on the beaches when the tsunami struck. As for the 152 Czech nationals unaccounted for, authorities expect the majority of them just have not had a chance to contact anyone because of broken phone lines and blocked roads.
Several aid organisations have opened accounts for the disaster, such as Adra, Caritas Czech Republic, the People in Need Organisation or the Czech Committee of the UNICEF and they say the money is adding up in the banks.