Speaking yesterday (5 November) in Bangkok following a visit to a flooded district of the Thai capital as well as to the Flood Relief Operations Centre, Werner Hoyer MP, Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office, commented as follows:
“I am appalled by the scale of the flooding. This is a disaster of unimaginable dimensions. According to Thai and German experts, there is still a risk the entire city may be flooded. It’s time Europe realized this is the worst flood Thailand has seen in decades. Nearly 500 lives have been lost. Over two and a half million people have lost their homes and everything they possessed. One third of the whole country and more than 6000 production enterprises are already under water. I’m greatly impressed to see how hard people are struggling to come to grips with just the worst consequences of the slowly but inexorably rising water levels.
For this they urgently need international assistance and practical solidarity. Germany stands ready to help. As one of the first European countries to offer assistance, Germany has already provided up to 600,000 euro for this purpose. In a further contribution to this effort, today we have handed over water purification equipment and small water filters to supply 50,000 people with safe drinking water. And we’re ready to do still more. That includes not only short-term disaster relief and support in dealing with the health problems that are unfortunately likely to arise but also assistance in tackling the challenges of reconstruction once water levels subside. And of course German expertise will also be on hand when the time comes to draw conclusions about the causes of the flooding.”
More information on Minister of State Hoyer’s trip to Bangkok:
In addition to talks with Justice Minister Pracha Promnok, the head of the Crisis Centre, as well as the Thai Red Cross and a team of experts on the ground from the Federal Agency for Technical Relief, Hoyer had a meeting with Kittiratt Na Ranong, Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister. Both men agreed that it was now crucial:
- in the short term to act decisively to provide disaster relief and limit the damage,
- in the medium term to make rapid progress on reconstruction, and
- in the long term to take all necessary measures to ensure that Bangkok is effectively protected in the event of renewed flooding.