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Relief starts to get through to cyclone victims

5th June 2008

As stocks of relief supplies reach the victims of the recent cyclone in Burma we are pleased to pass on to you the latest news courtesy of the Phuket Gazette: CAPE PANWA: Stocks of donated food and emergency-shelter supplies today finally began their journey from the Third Naval Command at Cape Panwa to help victims of Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar. Approximately 10 tonnes of supplies were loaded onto four container trucks heading for the Thai-Myanmar Border Fishery Co-ordination Center in Ranong province. From there, the supplies are expected to be distributed to the cyclone victims in Myanmar by Burmese officials. The Third Naval Command had been the main collection point for the many donations by local businesses, charities and individuals, although the Royal Thai Navy had been waiting for the stockpile to become large enough to warrant transporting the supplies to Myanmar in a single trip. As the trucks rolled out, US Navy sailors and Marines began disembarking from three US Navy ships – USS Pearl Harbor, USS Dubuque and USS Benfold – which pulled into the nearby Deep Sea Port about midday. While in Phuket for five days for “rest and recreation”, some of the sailors will lend a hand with some painting at the Phuket Special School in Pa Khlok. “The school has a vocational training building for tailoring and a bakery. This building is 10 x 30 meters with a roof height of 8 meters, and we plan to paint the entire building inside and out,” said Brad Kenny of the Rotary Club of Patong Beach. “A heavy task in two days, but the US Navy and Marines have around 90 volunteers signed up for the work and the Rotary Club of Patong Beach is organizing and prepping the site today and tomorrow,” he added. Mr Kenny went on to explain, “These ships are part of a US Navy amphibious assault group and with their landing capabilities also serve, and are highly trained for, humanitarian assistance during natural disasters. They are in the area to use their disaster-relief capabilities in the event the Myanmar government gives them access up the delta area after the recent cyclone. “They have on board up to four advanced hovercrafts that can travel up to 75 kilometers per hour with a range of 300 miles, and could delivery 60 tonnes of disaster-relief goods per sortie if allowed,” he said. (end of article) The Future As with all disasters it is hoped that relief comes to those in need and that they will quickly be able to return to some sort of normality. From the perspective of the diving industry and to respond to the questions we have been receiving, several liveaboards have reduced their number of trips to visit the remote Burmese waters for the 08/09 season. However there remain a number of scheduled departures beginning in November. See here for more info on Myanmar’s underwater sites: Burma Dive Sites For enquiries or bookings, please call Dive The World – +66 (0)83 505 7794 or you could send us an email

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