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11 May, 2006

Suriname Flooding: Relief Communications Network Underway

Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) are deploying their Americas unit based in Nicaragua to Suriname where 3 IT engineers will be landing in the capital early Saturday morning to begin the restoration of the communications infrastructure which has been down for the past 4-5 days in affected areas. Upon arrival, TSF will initally install 1 communication centre for relief communications between aid agencies and search/rescue teams and based upon request will set up more centers if the need arises. The TSF unit in Nicaragua who are also coordinating with UN OCHA in Panama and Geneva, have said that they will also be supporting UNDAC's operations on the ground in Suriname in terms of inter-agency communications.

Some of the immediate services that TSF will provide the local and international aid teams are wireless broadband Internet connections via satellite, availability of laptops, satellite phones (5MiniMs+1 Iridium) & modems (2Rbgans, 1GanM4) as well as technical assistance to strengthen coordination and communication between field crews and operational headquarters. UNOSAT who have released pre-diaster maps are currently producing post-disaster imagery will coordinate with TSF to have the availability of maps for other aid agencies and TSF will also evaluate the needs in telecommunications for affected civilians and provide emmergency lines for those who need to contact relatives either within the country or overseas.

To get in touch with the the TSF unit who are deploying to Suriname, please contact them via email to americas@tsfi.org or on phone/fax at +505 277 48 43



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