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Flooding in Thailand: ICRC assists 8,000 detainees

10-10-2011 News Release 11/209

Bangkok (ICRC) – As a devastating monsoon sweeps across Thailand, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is providing emergency assistance to detainees and places of detention affected by the floods.

In Ayutthaya, 105 km north of Bangkok, 1,700 prisoners were evacuated from a prison in the old town on 7 and 8 October. At the request of the Department of Corrections, the ICRC delivered dry food and drinking water to the remaining 2,000.

“The water was almost four meters high," said Bjorn Rahm, an ICRC detention delegate. "We had to leave the truck and load the goods onto small boats. Some places were so flooded that we were navigating between the roof tops.”

The ICRC has also assisted 6,000 detainees in the Patum Thani prison for young offenders, which is having to cope with a big influx of detainees evacuated from the four prisons in Ayutthaya province.

"This is the worse monsoon season since 1949,” said Dr Amnat  Barlee, director of the Thai Red Cross Relief and Community Health Bureau. “The situation is dramatic. Over the last two months, more than 200 people have died, and thousands of families have had to evacuate their homes, which were severely damaged by the floods.

“The ICRC stands ready to assist victims of the floods,” said Jacques Stroun,  head of the ICRC's delegation in Bangkok. "The Thai Red Cross is doing a remarkable job, working round the clock to come to the aid of those affected. We are in constant contact with the National Society so as to help assist the most vulnerable wherever needed.”

The ICRC has been working in Thailand since 1975. Its main activity is to visit detainees and support families affected by the 2004 outbreak of violence in the south of the country. The regional delegation also cooperates with the national authorities to promote awareness of international humanitarian law among the armed forces and students.

For further information, please contact:
Stephanie Bouaziz, ICRC Bangkok, tel: (++66) 81 950 1270


Photos

Entrance to Ayutthaya town: people fleeing the flood. 

Entrance to Ayutthaya town: people fleeing the flood.
© ICRC / B. Rahm / v-p-th-e-00178

The ICRC delivering aid to Ayutthaya Provincial Prison. With the water almost four meters high, the only way to reach the prison was by boat. 

The ICRC delivering aid to Ayutthaya Provincial Prison. With the water almost four meters high, the only way to reach the prison was by boat.
© ICRC / B. Rahm / v-p-th-e-00180