OCHA Flash Update #3 FSM & Palau | Tropical Storm Haiyan (31W)

Report
from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 07 Nov 2013

This is OCHA Flash Update #3 on Typhoon Haiyan in relation to the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and Palau.

Typhoon Haiyan was upgraded to a Super Typhoon overnight as it passed over the islands of Yap and Ngulu in Yap state, FSM. In the early hours of the morning, the centre of the typhoon passed over Palau approximately 120 km north of Koror (11,665 persons), and 15 km north of Kayangel (69), the northernmost state of the archipelago.

As Haiyan tracks west-northwest towards the central Philippines, all watches and warnings have been cancelled for FSM and Palau.

Federated States of Micronesia

Initial damage assessments by the Government and International Organization for Migration (IOM) continue in Yap State. There are no reports of casualties or major damage from the outer islands at this time, however, the small island of Ngulu was completely inundated by approximately half a metre of water.

On Yap Island, the villages of Epibnaw, Weloy, Fanif and Colonia report minor damage, although most fruit-bearing trees have been destroyed. Inundation was mainly on the eastern side of the island, including the main bridge and a hotel in Colonia. Power and telecommunications services have been restored. There is no significant damage reported from Woleai and Eauripik.

Palau

The main damage has been to the northern states of Kayangel, Ngerchelong and Ngaraard. A map showing initial reports of damage to Palau is available here.

The northernmost state of Kayangel was completely inundated and all homes destroyed. There are no fatalities or serious injuries reported, however 69 residents are without shelter, food and water, including 22 children and two elderly. A medical team arrived via helicopter earlier today with water, food and medical supplies and a patrol boat will evacuate residents tomorrow.

Several other low-lying coastal areas reported damage to structures as a result of inundation due to the storm surge. Schools in at least three states have been damaged by severe winds.

In Koror, there are reports of trees and power lines down, and houses damaged, particularly rooftops blown away by the 120 km/h winds. Photos of the impact on Koror are available here.

The causeway linking the hospital to the main island is now open after being inaccessible due to inundation this morning. The relocation of critical patients has commenced and emergency room services have reopened.

Work to restore water services and power has begun. As radio stations remain offline, information is being shared via mobile/cell phone, although network coverage is intermittent. Most landlines remained operational throughout.

The NEC expects to complete initial damage assessments by tomorrow, with sectoral assessments in health, education and utilities to continue into next week. Government offices and schools will remain closed on Friday 8 November with services expected to resume on Monday.

The Palau Red Cross Society has set-up its Emergency Operations Centre and has around 20 volunteers available to support initial assessments.

OCHA Regional Office for the Pacific has offered support to the Government and advised that the Pacific Humanitarian Team partners are on standby should there be a need for assistance. IOM can deploy technical expertise from FSM to Palau in 24 hours if required. The Digital Humanitarian Network has been activated and is developing an impact map based on social media.

The next flash update or situation report will be issued around 8 November 2013.

For further information, please contact:
Elisabeth McLeod, Public Information Officer, OCHA Regional Office for the Pacific, mcleode@un.org, +679 999 1423

Additional information is also available on the following websites:

www.unocha.org/rop
www.phtpacific.org

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

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