PHUKET: Rescue teams searched beaches and remote islands in search of the missing today as Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said that up to 700 people died when earthquake-induced tidal waves hit resort areas of southern Thailand.
According to Prime Minister Thaksin, about 600 to 700 people died when the waves and flooding devastated the coastal areas of Phuket and surrounding provinces.
Maj Gen. Kokiet Wongworachart, commander of Phuket’s police force, said that 35 of the victims who died on the island have been identified as foreigners.
However, the number of Western and Asian tourists who died is expected to rise further.
News media report nationals of South Korea, Japan, Germany, South Africa, Hong Kong, Britain, Ireland, Denmark, Australia, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, Sweden, Chile and the US as among the dead and missing.
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