Micronesia - Typhoon Lupit OCHA Situation Report No. 1

Report
from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 28 Nov 2003
Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2003/0145
OCHA Situation Report No. 1
Federated States of Micronesia - Typhoon Lupit
Occurred on 21-25 November 2003

This report is based on information provided by the Government of Federated States of Micronesia through the OCHA Disaster Response Advisor for the Pacific as well as the media.

Situation

1. On November 21, Tropical Storm Lupit passed through Chuuk State of Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), continued to intensify and was upgraded to Typhoon Lupit on November 23, and then passed through Yap State of FSM on 25 November with sustained winds of 194 km/h and gusts of 240 km/h. The typhoon/tropical storm with strong winds, heavy rains and hazardous waves has reportedly caused severe damage to public, private and commercial facilities and agriculture resources.

2. In Chuuk State, the typhoon/tropical storm caused substantive damage to agricultural crops, homes, seawalls and roads. A group of five people including two children in a boat is missing at sea. The hazardous waves flooded taro patches, homes, water catchments and deep wells. Many homes were left with unsanitary living conditions, undrinkable water and shortage of food. Although a preliminary damage assessment has not been completed yet, reports obtained through radio indicate that about 200 houses were destroyed or damaged.

3. In Yap State, the typhoon swept though the entire state from Satawal Island to northeast to main Island of Yap. A thorough damage assessment has just started and no reports of injury or death have been received yet. But the strong winds have caused severe damage to trees and crops. It is reported that huge sea waves up to 10 meters high may have overwhelmed Ulithi atoll, which is located at northeast of the mainland of Yap and is no more than five meters above sea-level.

National Response

4. The State Government of Chuuk has carried out emergency protective measures to evacuate people from lowland area to safe haven designated for emergency shelters. The Government and the State Government also activated a search and rescue operation for the lost boat and missing people in Chuuk.

5. After the request form the Governors of the two States, the Government has declared a State of Emergency for both States and is providing assistance for disaster relief. It is also preparing to undertake a joint damage assessment throughout the islands of Chuuk and Yap with the State Governments and the United States Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

International response

6. OCHA has not received a request for international assistance yet.

7. OCHA has mobilised the UNDAC Team in the Pacific in case of need for assistance. It remains in contact with the relevant government authorities of FSM through the OCHA Regional Disaster Response Advisor for the Pacific in Suva, Fiji, and will revert with further information as it becomes available.

8. This situation report, together with information on other ongoing emergencies, is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at http://www.reliefweb.int

MAP - Micronesia: Typoon Lupit - Situation Map

Telephone: +41-22-917 12 34
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23
E-mail: ochagva@un.org

In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

Desk Officers:
Mr. R. Mueller / Mr. S. Nakajima
Direct Tel. +41-22-917 31 31 / 40 3440 34

Press contact:
(in GVA) - Ms. Elizabeth Byrs, direct Tel. +41-22-917 26 53
(in N.Y.) - Mr. Brian Grogan, direct Tel. +1-212-963 11 43

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.