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21/11/2554 22.15 น. ThaiArmedForce.com - รัฐมนตรีฮิลรารี คลินตัน ประกาศแผนการช่วยเหลือมูลค่า 10 ล้านเหรียญสหรัฐต่อประเทศไทยระหว่างเดินทางมาเยือนประเทศไทย นอกจากนี้ยังเสนอให้ความช่วยเหลือในการฟื้นฟูท่าอากาศยานดอนเมืองและโบราณสถานในจังหวัดพระนครศรีอยุธยาอีกด้วย
ทั้งนี้ ในถ้อยแถลงของ Department of State ยังได้ระบุอีกว่า กองบัญชาการกองทัพสหรัฐภาคพื้นแฟซิฟิกยังได้จัดส่งภาพถ่ายดาวเทียมให้กับประเทศไทยเพื่อใช้ในการวางแผนการช่วยเหลือ รวมถึงเฮลิเตอร์ทั้งสองลำจากเรือ USS Mustin ยังปฏิบัติภารกิจจำนวน 69 เที่ยวบินร่วมกับกองทัพไทยในการสำรวจพื้นที่ประสบภัยในประเทศไทย และล่าสุดยังได้ส่งเรือ USS Lassen เข้ามาจอดในประเทศไทยเพื่อให้การช่วยเหลือไทยต่อไป
"ดิฉันหวังว่าเราจะส่งสารที่ชัดเจนให้กับชาวไทยว่า ในภาวะน้ำท่วมที่สร้างความเสียหายที่สุดครั้งหนึ่งในประวัติศาสตร์ ประเทศไทยจะกลับมาเข้มแข็งกว่าเดิม ความอดทนและความหวังของชาวไทยจะช่วยให้ทุกคนผ่านวิกฤตไปได้ และสหรัฐอเมริกาพร้อมที่จะอยู่เป็นเพื่อนกับประเทศไทยในทุกย่างก้าว" รัฐมนตรีคลินตันกล่าว
นอกจากนั้น สหรัฐอเมริกายังเสนอให้ความช่วยเหลือในการปรับปรุงระบบแจ้งเตือนภัยพิบัติให้กับไทย ให้การฝึกกับเจ้าหน้าที่ไทยเพื่อรับมือภัยพิบัติ และบริจาคสิ่งของที่จำเป็นเช่น เครื่องกำเนิดไฟฟ้า ถุงยังชีพ และเสื้อชูชีพให้กับไทย
ทั้งนี้ ชุดสำรวจการให้ความช่วยเหลือด้านมนุษยธรรม (Humanitarian Assistance Survey Team; HAST) ของหน่วยนาวิกโยธินสหรัฐยังคงอยู่ในประเทศไทยเพื่อร่้วมกับรัฐบาลสหรัฐในการประสานงานกับรัฐบาลไทยในการฟื้นฟูท่าอากาศยานดอนเมืองต่อไป
Clinton Pledges Support, Solidarity to Thai Flood Victims
By Charlene Porter | Staff Writer | 17 November 2011
Washington — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited an evacuation center for victims of floodwaters in Bangkok November 17, to demonstrate the U.S. government’s concern and sympathy for the people of Thailand, and pledged ongoing support as the country works to recover from the high waters, which have swamped cities, homes, factories and even the graceful temples that dot the landscape.
“I love Thailand and I love the Thai people, and I’ve been very distressed about these terrible floods, which are a historic, horrible event for your country,” said Clinton in an interview with hosts of a television talk program. “I’m here to show not only solidarity and sympathy, but confidence and optimism,” said Clinton.
Prior to the interview, Clinton visited a stadium that is acting as an evacuation center for people flooded out of their homes. Greeting them with the traditional Thai bow, she asked about their experiences in the floodwaters.
Afterward, she told the interviewer that floods seem to bring on more prolonged misery than other natural disasters.
“There’s something about a flood, though, that is so hard because it takes so long,” she said. “It’s there for weeks, even months, before it drains. And that can take a toll on people’s spirits. The few people I had a chance to talk to — they don’t know when they’re going to get to go home. One said maybe two weeks; one said maybe a month. That’s hard.”
The Thai government reports that high waters are beginning to recede in some areas of Bangkok, but some flood conditions likely will exist for several more weeks as heavy monsoon rains that fell on the northern part of the country continue to flow southward toward the Gulf of Thailand.
Floods began with greater than average monsoon rains in July, and the government now estimates that more than 560 people have been killed in floodwaters, more than half of them children.
In the midst of these difficulties, Clinton said that she hopes her visit might cast a ray of optimism about what can be achieved in the recovery to come. “And I hope that we can send a strong message that, as devastating as these historic floods have been, Thailand will come back even better. The resilience and the optimism of the Thai people will definitely win the day, and the United States will be your partner every step of the way.”
The $10 million assistance package the United States has pledged to Thailand will also include efforts of experts in antiquity restoration. The floodwaters have been undiscriminating, offering no veneration or respect for the many temples and religious icons that were inundated along with 22 of Thailand’s 77 provinces.
Referring to some of the devastating flooding disasters that have beset areas of the United States in recent years, Clinton said many countries have come to realize that poor land-use planning can often worsen flood damage. “As you develop and you have more businesses and more factories and more homes, you take away land that used to be drainage land, wetlands. So we’re having to do this around the world, and it’s a big wake-up call for all of us.”
The secretary of state left Thailand November 17 for Bali, Indonesia, to attend the Association of South East Asian Nations and East Asia Summit meeting, but the USS Lassen remained at port in Bangkok. The ship has dedicated a team to working with Thais to conduct damage assessments and help determine where the aid efforts should begin.
Fact Sheet: U.S. Assistance to Thailand for Flood Recovery
16 November 2011
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesperson
November 16, 2011
U.S. Assistance to Thailand for Flood Recovery
Today the United States announced more than $10 million in additional assistance and civic aid to support Thailand in responding to the most severe flooding in the country’s recent history. The Thai Government, military and people have undertaken tremendous efforts to address the flooding, and the United States is committed to supporting our ally’s speedy and full recovery.
The United States will provide coordinated support to our Thai civilian and military partners in efforts to re-open Don Muang Airport – a dual domestic and military hub – to facilitate delivery of humanitarian assistance. The USS Lassen is in port in Thailand with crew and helicopter assets to assist in the relief and recovery efforts. We will increase local civilian emergency response and disaster preparation capacity by providing funding for water pumps for flood recovery, training and equipping first responders, supporting health recovery efforts, and expanding flood early warning systems. We will train police and other first responders in disaster response and provide equipment like generators, survival kits, and life vests.
The United States is consulting with the Thai Government on how we can best assist in restoring important cultural sites, including the ancient capital and World Heritage Site at Ayutthaya, which have been damaged by the floods. We will involve U.S. experts to conduct damage assessments and work with Thai organizations to enlist support from the U.S. Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation.
This assistance supplements what the United States provided in October when the flooding reached a critical stage. At that time, we provided boats, marine engines, and life vests to the Thai police for their enforcement efforts in a disaster environment, assisting flood victims and securing property and flood barriers. In addition to $1.1 million in direct humanitarian assistance, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) provided technical support to the Thai Government’s Flood Response Operations Center. USAID and U.S. military humanitarian assessment survey teams, including the U.S. Marine Corps HAST out of Okinawa, conducted numerous assessments of flood-affected areas. The USS Mustin conducted 69 helicopter survey missions with the Thai military, worked with local communities, and donated blood and relief funds. The United States Pacific Command also provided up-to-date satellite imagery of the stricken areas to assist in flood predictions and mitigation operations by the Thai military and civilian authorities.
The employees of the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok worked to help flood victims even as some of their own homes were flooded. American and Thai staff members packed and delivered food, donated blood, and gathered supplies. Many in the embassy community also opened up their homes for colleagues displaced by the flooding. Sailors from the USS Mustin donated personal funds to the flood effort.
III MEF continues Thailand assistance
OKINAWA, Japan - U.S. Pacific Command sent the III Marine Expeditionary Force flood-relief command element from here to the Kingdom of Thailand Nov. 14 to provide command and control for follow-on U.S. forces to support and assist the Royal Government of Thailand.
Thailand has experienced significant rainfall during their monsoon season which has created major flooding issues throughout the country, said Maj. Jonathan A. Derosier, the engineering planner for the flood-relief command element.
The command element, consisting of service members from several branches of the U.S. military, will ensure the U.S. military works in coordination with the Royal Government of Thailand to support the recently flooded areas with aid and recovery.
“We are tasked with the goal of assessing how we can properly support Thailand’s flood-damaged areas,” said Brig. Gen. Craig C. Crenshaw, commander, III MEF flood-relief command element and commanding general for 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III MEF.
The command element is prepared to provide assistance to ongoing flood-recovery operations; the Marine Corps’ role is to quickly respond with capabilities to assist the citizens of Thailand.
To maximize flood-relief efforts, III MEF experts from the medical, engineering, aviation, supply, communication and civil-affairs fields.
“A team of five communication Marines are going and will be using the rapid-response kit while in Thailand,” said Sgt. John F. Watkins, a data expert with the command element. “The rapid-response kit’s capabilities are data, voice and video-teleconference.” The rapid-response kit allows communication to be established in a timely manner facilitating rapid-relief response.
III MEF trains throughout the year during annual exercises in the Asia-Pacific Region, to include Exercise Cobra Gold, which enables effective response and coordination with our long standing U.S. allies and partners, such as the Royal Government of Thailand.
“With the flood-relief command element set up in Thailand, we’ll have boots on the deck, which will speed the reaction time if Thailand and U.S. officials decide to send additional III MEF service members,” said Sgt. Maj. Lawrence P. Fineran, sergeant major, III MEF flood-relief command element and 3rd MLG sergeant major.
III MEF’s actions are part of a larger U.S. initiative to support Thailand as U.S. forces are committed to working and assisting their Thai allies and partners.
Lassen Sailors Assist in Thailand Flood Relief Efforts
By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Johnie Hickmon
BANGKOK (Nov. 18, 2011) Sailors from the guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen (DDG 82) unload boxes of food from a truck at the Thai Red Cross central distribution center. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Johnie Hickmon) - See more photos.
The ship moored at Laem Chabang on Nov. 16 to provide assistance to victims of flooding that claimed hundreds of lives and left many without food, water and basic supplies beginning in late July. Working in conjunction with the Thai Red Cross Society, Sailors helped to load more than 6,000 supplies onto trucks that would be distributed throughout the areas affected by the floods. The supplies were donated to the center from various local and international communities and organizations.
Although the work was strenuous, Cryptologic Technician (Technical) 2nd Class Casey Brown said volunteering for the event was only natural, considering the U.S. and Thailand frequently work together during exercises such as Cobra Gold. “I think us being here shows our support for the government and people of Thailand,” he said. “We’re always willing to help when it’s needed.”
For Fire Controlman 1st Class Justin Baudier, he said he could relate to the pain the flood victims are going through. As a native of New Orleans, he understands the struggles the victims are enduring.
“It can take a long time to recover from something like this,” he said. “That’s the main reason I decided to volunteer today.”
In addition to helping with supplies, a few Sailors decided to take volunteering a step further by donating blood during a blood drive. Sonar Technician (Surface) 2nd Class Joseph Johnson said although he had never donated blood before, he volunteered to do it because it was the right thing. “People need it,” he said. “It’s all about answering the call of duty in their time of need.”
Several workers at the center, including the assistant head nurse for the Red Cross, Wallapa Suksirimuch, said they were thankful for all the help the Sailors provided. “We appreciate all their hard work today,” she said. “Many blessings to them.”
Lassen Command Master Chief Jason Haka told the Sailors how he was proud of the hard work and long hours they provided during the event. “Herculean job,” he said. “Great work! Great work!”
Lassen is assigned to Destroyer Squadron Fifteen (DESRON 15) and is currently participating in disaster relief efforts in Thailand.
ลูกเรือจากเรือพิฆาต USS Lassen ช่วยแพ็คของที่สภากาชาดไทย