11 May, 2008

Update on Visas & Flights Gathered from Recent Sit Reps

The following updates have been compiled from recent IASC & UNJLC Sit Reps over the past 24 hours:

  1. The government of Myanmar is on a four days leave, ending Tuesday. In the meantime, no visa applications will be processed from the Burma Embassy at Bangkok in Thailand.
  2. Some aid agencies have been able to obtain visas into Burma through their embassies in Sri Lanka and Paris
  3. The president of Red Cross in Myanmar has provided a certificate for Red Cross and IFRC staff to use upon Arrival at the airport. This will supposedly allow for visa on arrival for Red Cross staff, but it is still not sure if this approach will work in practice, however 4 staff have already arrived and been granted visas on the basis of such a letter.
  4. Flights arriving from Singapore into Burma are said to be easier for entry into the country than flights from Bangkok.
  5. The US Military is planning to send 1 c-130 plane on Monday, as well as 2 more plane on Tuesday - using these as test flights. Both planes will be carrying emergency relief items.
  6. Information coming from the Inter-agency Logistics team within Myanmar reveals that there is fuel available in the country for the time being and this includes airplane fuel.
  7. There are heavy showers forecasted for next week, especially Tuesday through Thursday. This may have implications for access as roads potentially flood and this may hamper relief operations.
  8. Communications have been established in 3 out of four townships, and the fourth is being worked on.
  9. An early assessment reveals that 3000 schools have been damaged, out of which 75 percent have been severely damaged.
  10. The Ministry of Health has promised that supplies coming into the country from WHO will be released to WHO staff in Myanmar.
  11. There have been a few reports of diarrhea, but it is not known whether they are related to cholera and in order to prevent further outbreaks, the Ministry of Health has agreed to a surveillance system created by WHO.

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