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Foreign Ministry urges Finns in Sri Lanka to contact relatives following deadly strikes

The ministry is urging Finns to follow local media reports and official guidelines and to file travel notices if they have not already done so.

St Anthonyn kirkko Kochchikade, Colombo, Sri Lanka 21. huhtikuuta
Image: Pushpa Kumara / EPA

Finland’s Foreign Ministry is calling on all Finnish citizens in Sri Lanka to contacts their families, following deadly attacks on churches and hotels in the capital Colombo Sunday morning that killed more than 200 people and injured over 400 others.

The ministry said that it is monitoring the situation in Sri Lanka to determine whether or not any Finns were among the dead or injured, communications officer Meira Pappi told Yle.

The ministry has estimated that there are currently around 81 Finnish nationals on the island, based on the number of travel notices it has received. However it said that the actual number of visitors from Finland is likely to be higher.

Meanwhile tour operators have said that they currently don’t have any groups visiting Sri Lanka. Travel firm Tjäreborg product manager Jessica Virtanen said that four independent travellers booked flights to Sri Lanka and that the company had been in touch with them.

The Nordics’ largest tour operator TUI said that only individual tourists travel to Sri Lanka using its services. Press liaison Mari Berg said that no TUI customers are currently on the island. The same is true of another operator, Apollomatkat, said marketing contact Satu Kontulainen. She added that the last winter season flights to the island took place about one week ago.

The foreign ministry’s Pappi said that it had sent text messages to Finns who had submitted travel notifications, telling them about the attacks and urging them to contact their relatives.

The ministry is also calling on Finns to follow local media reports and official guidelines and to file travel notices with the ministry if they have not already done so.

Finland’s ambassador to South Asia, Harri Kämäräinen also reached out to Finnish travellers on Twitter, telling them to contact the ministry in Finland in case of an emergency at +358916055555 by phone or via email at paivystys.um@formin.fi

Edit: Updated at 6.13pm to revise the death toll.

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