Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern, has said that the number of Irish people unaccounted for after the disaster in southern Asia has fallen. 

Concern remains for about 20 Irish nationals holidaying in the region whose families have not heard from them.

The minister also said that Ireland's aid had been doubled, bringing the Government’s contribution to €2 million.

Earlier, Mr Ahern’s department said telecommunication problems were hampering attempts to establish the status of the missing Irish.

Two Dublin women, who were travelling separately, in the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand, are missing. According to reports the women are 27-year-old Eileesh Finnegan from Ballyfermot and Lucy Coyle.

Irish diplomatic staff in Malaysia and Thailand are continuing to visit hospitals in the region to establish the whereabouts of Irish people who remain unaccounted for.

The Irish Ambassador to Thailand, Dan Mulhall, has been leading a team to check hospitals and government agencies in the region for word on Irish visitors.

The Department of Foreign Affairs is continuing to operate a helpline number on (01) 408 2308.

Information regarding missing people in Thailand is available at www.ceronsoftware.com/phuket and www.missing.go.th.

Meanwhile, this morning four Irish women arrived back at Dublin airport from Thailand where they escaped the tsunamis on Koh Phi Phi with minor injuries.

Big Irish response to donation appeals

Aid agencies have said that there has been big response from Irish people to appeals for donations to help the homeless victims of the disaster.

Trocaire said €500,000 has so far been raised and up to €130,000 has also been donated to the Irish Red Cross.