Micronesia: Chuuk humanitarian efforts continue
Dededo, Guam -- The same day President Bush signed a disaster declaration for the Federated States of Micronesia, and less than 24 hours from the time the request was sent from the FSM President, the delivery of emergency medical supplies to Chuuk state was coordinated by a team of specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
FEMA immediately took steps to assist in stabilizing conditions on Chuuk, and dispatched a Rapid Needs Assessment Team to coordinate recovery efforts. The first mission was to assist in the evacuation of critically injured patients, and supply the islands with emergency food and water. Medical teams, consisting of one anesthesiologist, two nurses and three technicians, were transported to assess, evaluate and document the effects Tropical Storm Chata'an had on Chuuk residents. Specialists were also airlifted to perform life saving surgery.
Using C130 military aircrafts, FEMA coordinated a total of 14 medically related missions to Chuuk. The critically injured patients were transported to medical facilities in Hawaii, Guam, Japan and Okinawa, with each accompanied by a family member.
In addition to the people-related missions, FEMA also oversaw the distribution of food, water and medical supplies from Guam to Chuuk. An initial 21-day relief package of rice, flour and oil was delivered via military aircraft. Daily flights were conducted and a total of 24 military airlifts of food, water, medical supplies and American Red Cross supplies were delivered to Chuuk.
FEMA anticipates establishing disaster Recovery Centers in Weno and Tonoas to provide assistance to individuals affected by Tropical Storm Chata'an. Applicants will also be able to register for disaster assistance at the centers.
The July 11 declaration provided assistance for debris removal caused by flooding, mudslides and landslides, and for emergency protective measures. An amendment on July 26 approved the addition of Individual Assistance and an expansion of Public Assistance programs. The public assistance expansion provides assistance for roads and bridges, water control facilities, buildings and equipment, utilities and parks, recreational facilities and other items.
FSM and FEMA officials have been working together since the catastrophic events of Tropical Storm Chata'an. Together they are striving to meet the needs of the people of the Federated States of Micronesia, particularly those from Chuuk, both on an emergency response basis, and for long-term recovery.
FEMA's mission was, and continues to be, to alleviate suffering of the people of FSM. Federal Coordinating Officer Bill Carwile said, "The recovery of Chuuk, in particular, was a huge logistical challenge, but one that we knew could be overcome. Recovery efforts so far are reminiscent of running a 'little Navy' in order to get recovery programs to those affected by this catastrophic disaster." Carwile noted that recovery efforts will continue until all those in need of assistance are helped.
Through 24 airlifts, FEMA has delivered to Chuuk:
- 93,000 liters of water
- 1,300 blankets
- 800 cots
- 110 camp stoves
- 900 rolls of toilet paper
- nearly 4,000 disposable diapers
- 80 commodes,
- 200 commode privacy tents
- 3,600 commode re-supply kits
- 1,690 wash kits
- 200 dinnerware kits
- a gross (144) of cook sets
- 100 camp kits
- 1400 camp pads
- 360 tents of various sizes
- 100,000 lbs of rice
- 5,000 12-oz tins of corned beef
- 150 cases of canned tuna
- 5400 12 oz packages of luncheon meat
- 30 cases of sardines
- 1,000 lbs of sugar
- 3,700 lbs of all-purpose flour
- 222 quarts of vegetable oil
- 11,328 MRE (meals ready to eat)
- 74 chainsaws and 96 chainsaw kits
- 34 machetes
- 58 hammers
- 36 axes