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Thousands of Finns in Quake Area

At least one Finn was killed in Thailand by the massive wave triggered by an earthquake, says the Nordic insurance firms' joint venture, SOS International. The Finnish Foreign Ministry has not yet confirmed the fatality but says several Finns have been injured.

The Finnish Embassy in Bangkok says at least 2,000 Finns are vacationing in coastal areas of Western Thailand stricken by huge tsunami waves. Several are reported to be injured.

On the island of Khao Lak, 100 Finns have been evacuated to a local school. Many of them have sustained injuries.

National carrier Finnair estimates a total of 3,000 Finnish tourists are currently in Thailand.

Phuket, a resort badly affected by the tidal waves, is a popular resort also for Finnish holidaymakers.

Around 400 Finns are believed to be in Sri Lanka. Others are on holiday in the Maldives and Indonesia.

Many Finns Stil Unaccounted For The Foreign Ministry continues to monitor the plight of Finnish tourists in the stricken areas. They have still to ascertain the whereabouts of several Finns. Embassy officials say they have received anxious calls from parents of young backpackers in Southern India. An official from the Finnish Embassy in Bangkok is travelling to Phuket and will set up a consular post to render assistance to Finnish tourists in the area. Finnish eye-witnesses in Phuket described the tidal waves as being of "enormous power" and described beaches as resembling war zones. Scheduled package tours to Sri Lanka for the entire winter have been cancelled. Flights to Phuket have been suspended for at least the next two weeks. Tour operators are making arrangements to bring home holidaymakers from the destinations affected by the quake. The first Finnair flight to fetch holidaymakers arrived in Phuket, Thailand, on Monday morning. Priority is being given to Finns who have been injured. Another Finnair flight scheduled to arrive at Monday midday in Phuket carried two Finnish doctors, two medics and tour operators' personnel. All Finnish holidaymakers should have been flown home by the end of this week. The charter airline Air Finland has a plane en route to Sri Lanka to fetch tourists on Monday night. At least 15,000 people are believed to have been killed by tsunamis caused by the earthquake in coastal areas across southern Asia. Foreign Ministry help line 010 - 802 266 YLE24, Finnish News Agency STT

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