As phone lines fail, families use internet to find loved ones

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The Independent Online

As Government hotlines jammed, unable to take the millions of calls after the tsunami catastrophe, desperate friends and relatives have turned to the internet to search for loved ones.

Survivors bypassed official routes and used message boards set up on the web to let people know they are alive. Hospitals have posted names, photographs and descriptions of holidaymakers and news organisations have allowed their websites to be used. The BBC and CNN have allocated separate country sections for messages. The BBC said it had received more than 10,000 e-mails since the earthquake.

Here are just some of the messages:

Phuket International Hospital's website

* Missing: Paulina Sanden, nine-years-old from Sweden. This photograph is three years old but she still looks like this. Her parents and her sisters were in Thalang Hospital in Khao Lak and they have been transferred to Bangkok hospital. Please give me a call if you have seen her. We all miss her. melliander@comhem.se

* Help us to find our sister. We are looking for Paule Bella (born Gomez). She is French, 42 years old, is 1metre 61cm tall and has brown eyes and brown hair. She's got a scar on the left knee and a smaller left foot. If you've got some news please contact us. Her husband Eric Bell is in Phuket looking for her hopelessly. Thanks for any help.

* MISSING 2 little boys - Nico, (3 years old left picture) and Linus (1 year old right picture). Last seen in Khao Lak, Naugthoung Bay Resort II. Parents found alive! Any information please phone Mr Mass. Thanks!"

* The Wikstrom family from Sweden is missing. They were in Khao Lak in the Khao Lak laguna resort and were probably on the beach at the time of the wave. My brother has diabetes and is in urgent need of medical care. He is 14 years old, blond and 1.75m tall. My mother Petra Wikstrom is 43 years old, tall, 1.75m blonde with blue eyes just like my brother. Her hair is shoulder length. My father is tall, 1.83m, has very short hair, well tanned and thin. He is 48 years old. Please help me to find my beloved family! I miss them!! Filippa Wikstrom"

* Steve Isaac looking for Luke Puddy and Alice Claypoole. We have not heard from two friends missing in Khao Luk since Boxing Day. They are white, British and 31-years-old. Luke is 5 foot 10 inches tall with reddish brown short hair and Alice is about 5 foot 6 inches tall with long wavy brown hair. Please get in touch. Thanks Steve."

* Elias Ogren, four months old, Swedish. Missing at Khao Lak. Parents Alive. Dear All! As of now we know that Erika Soederqvist and Joakim Ogren, parents are alive. However, we still do not know anything about their child, Elias, 4 months. If you know anything about them or more likely were they gather lost children, PLEASE let us know! Contact local Swedish representatives or other authorities. Bless all of you and your loved ones. Carl Johan.

* Sophia Stuermer, 12 years old, who [was] with her parents Monika Stuermer and Matthias Kampfmann. She is still missing and was in front of the hotel Bhandari Resort Spa at Khao Lak and was hidden by the wave at the beach. More details: Nationality: German. Date of birth: 13.04.1992. Colour of her eyes: blue-grey Size: 160 cm. Weight: 52 kg. Hair: curly brown shoulder length. Special details: small scar lower stomach from an appendectomy. For information please contact directly her parents at the Bankok Phuket Hospital.

CNN website

* I am trying to contact my disabled sister, 40, and her boyfriend. They travel to India every year and stay in the Andaman and Nicobar islands. My sister is confined to wheelchair, has blue eyes and long dread-locked hair. Her name is Jennifer Canvin and her Spanish boyfriend is Andy Asharafi. I have left messages and descriptions with embassies and help lines. I am desperate for news. LawrenLeig@aol.com

* I'm searching for my parents. They are on an island on the Andaman Islands called Havelock. If anyone has any information ... please contact me. Their names are: Jan (JM) van Deutekom, Paula (PHAM) van de Ven. They are both in their late 40s and are from Holland. supercowtje@yahoo.com

BBC website

* Our daughter Ditza Israeli is travelling around India. Her last e-mail said she was spending Christmas in Varkala, Kerala. We have not heard from her yet and are becoming concerned. If anyone knows anything please alert. Terri Israeli, Alpharetta, GA, United States

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