Federated States of Micronesia: Typhoon Chataan Information Bulletin No.01/2002

Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) Allocated. CHF 30,000
This Information Bulletin is being issued based on the needs described below reflecting the information available for the moment. A DREF allocation of CHF 30,000 has been released. Unearmarked funds to repay DREF are needed.

The Situation

On Monday 1 July, Chuuk, one of the most heavily populated of the four states comprising the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), housing approximately half of the FSM's total population (54,000 persons), was struck by typhoon Chataan. Forceful winds measuring up to 110 kilometers (70 mph) per hour and continuous torrential rains destroyed and flooded houses, snapped power-lines and caused the islands' drainage systems to overflow. The government has declared a state of emergency for Chuuk. The typhoon has triggered at least 30 landslides in the state's capital and centre of activity, Weno and all the other Lagoon islands. These landslides pose the greatest danger to the safety and well being of the affected communities. The FSM are located between Guam and Hawaii consisting of over 600 islands.

Dead animals and rubbish are strewn everywhere, and potable water has become scarce. Most of the villages on Weno are reporting fatalities and injuries due to landslides. The injury count is constantly climbing, according to reports gathered from various Municipalities/villages. Chuuk State Hospital reports close to one hundred people brought in for medical assessment and assistance. According to an international media source, as of Thursday 4 July, at least 39 people are reported dead, 10 people are missing and some 100 others injured. As many as 1,500 houses have been damaged in the landslides, and floods unleashed by the typhoon are 1.5 meters deep.

Numerous homes, school, and public buildings are reported to be damaged or buried under mud. After the typhoon hit, some 2,000 people fled their homes and sought refuge in government buildings. The media has also reported that many major crops, roads, and bridges in Chuuk have been destroyed, and the rescue operation to dig out the people from the mud is continuing. Downed telephone connections and heavy seas were preventing officials in Chuuk from reaching isolated areas. The FSM Government dispatched their Search and Rescue teams and Department of Public Team to rescue those trapped by the mudslides, and to clear the debris.

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Micronesia Red Cross Society (MRCS)

The Disaster Preparedness (DP) officer of the MRCS Chuuk Chapter is on site working with a government assessment team. MRCS has transported tarpaulins, blankets, water containers, cooking sets, axes, hammers, and some other DP equipment stored in the MRCS's DP container at MRCS national headquarters in Pohnpei. The

MRCS will send some relief goods from Pohnpei to Chuuk in response to a request made by the FSM Government.

The MRCS is a member of the National Emergency Task Force, and will attend the coordination meeting held on 5 July. Following the meeting the MRCS Executive Director will have more concrete information regarding the needs of those affected by the Typhoon.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

Regional Office in Suva

The MRCS is closely liaising with the Federation's Regional Office in Suva to share information. The Regional OD delegate is currently representing the Federation's office in Suva. The delegate is in close contact with the MRCS and the Federation's Secretariat in Geneva.

Secretariat Geneva

The Federation's Asia & Pacific Department with support from the Disaster Coordination Management Division, are closely liaising with the Suva Regional Office, Australian Red Cross, New Zealand Red Cross, Japanese Red Cross, relevant PNSs, Diplomatic missions in Geneva, OCHA, and other stakeholders in and outside the Region. The Federation has released CHF30,000 of DREF, and may ask the donors for reimbursement of DREF and any additional needs once more precise information on requirements becomes available.

Coordination with UN/NGOs

OCHA: OCHA will send their UNDAC Team to FSM on Sunday. The Regional Representative based in Suva and some of the other UNDAC team members based in the region will conduct an assessment of the damage. The Federation is closely liaising with OCHA both in Geneva and in the field.

For a full description of the National Society profile, see www.ifrc.org

For further details please contact

  • The Federated States of Micronesia National Society in Pohnpie ; Phone 691 320 7077; Fax 691 320 6531; email mrcs@mail fm
  • Satoshi Sugai, Federation Desk Officer, Phone 41 22 730 4273; Fax 41 22 733 0395; email sugai@ifrc.org
All International Federation Operations seek to adhere to the Code of Conduct and are committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (SPHERE Project) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

For support to or for further information concerning Federation operations in this or other countries, please access the Federation website at http://www.ifrc.org

For longer-term programmes, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal.

John Horekens
Director
Division of External Relations

Simon Missiri
Head
Asia and Pacific Department