Down to work

Day 2 – Friday 9th May – Bangkok, Thailand

For those of you with a geographic bent our location whilst at work is:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=13.76352,100.50882

and our hotel:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=13.75191,100.53737

We started the day at the cluster meeting – mainly people discussing how they couldn’t get visas. The very few people who have got in appeared to have got in by mistake or on Myanmar papers. So far no outbreaks have been reported. Some relief flights have landed (rice and biscuits) but other flights have been held back by bad weather or lack of clearance. Fuel is a problem – plenty of it Myanmar but no electricty to pump it out of tanks. Flash appeal to be launched today (got my email from DEC just now!). Lots of supplies are standing by in Bangkok and all across the world. Next meeting tomorrow at 9am.

We are getting somewhat flooded with basic map data – we spend a lot of our time working out what they are and then if we are allowed to use them – very tricky re: names and boundaries, they have changed lots and we must get the right versions before maps are released. There is a lot of confusion over definitive versions of boundary and settlement names. We have very little to do there being virtually no situational data to speak of (apart from flood extents). We have made some maps but they still need approval before we release them – just basic overview maps nothing fancy.

DSC04416 A late luch (4pm) provided some light relief as we perused the menu … spicy rare meats including steamed serpent and pickled plums, crispy fried frog, grilled pig’ neck (note superfluous apostrophe) and hot and sour psophocarpus tetragonolobus. We went for tom yum soup, beef and chicken (chicken being the operative word).

Tomorrow we will take a look at the masses of new data that has appeared on the IM group (map scans, new flood extents etc).

[This diary is from my involvement with MapAction’s assistance to UN OCHA after cyclone Nargis, May 2008]

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