By Karen Leiva / IFRC
When Asiena heard that Typhoon Maysak would make landfall in Chuuk State where she lives in Micronesia, she did not think it would affect her home – after all, the structure of her house is made of solid concrete. However, she underestimated the strength of the typhoon, which ripped the tin roof off of her house and exposed her family, including her four-month-old son, Danson, to the storm. Terrified, she and other family members sought shelter at a neighbour’s home, which was unscathed by the storm.
It wasn’t until the typhoon passed that she was able to truly understand its full impact. Her roof had been broken into pieces and was strewn around her yard. Everything inside her home was left soaking wet or were blown away, while trees around her house toppled to the ground. Another neighbour, Fred Manny, lost his home to the storm as well. Thankfully, Fred and his eight family members took refuge a friend’s home before the typhoon struck.
In this community on Chuuk’s main island, it is those most vulnerable living in wooden homes or houses with tin roofs that experienced the worst of Typhoon Maysak. It is estimated that 30,000 people across Micronesia have been impacted in some way by the disaster. Not only were homes affected; lands and crops were also destroyed and many cars were severely damaged by falling trees.
The Micronesia Red Cross Society is supporting those affected by the typhoon by delivering urgently needed relief supplies such as tarpaulins, water containers, blankets, lanterns and cooking sets. This week, the Red Cross returned to Asiena’s community after conducting an earlier assessment to determine its needs. The supplies delivered in her community are the last of the stock available to the Red Cross in Micronesia until the next shipment arrives. Additional Red Cross supplies will be shipped this week from the neighbouring Republic of Marshall Islands.
Typhoon survivors across the country are doing their best to get their lives back on track. In Asiena’s home, several rooms are still exposed to the elements with only a square canvas to cover them. For his part, Fred has started to rebuild his home even after sustaining a foot injury, making recovery efforts even more difficult. Asiena and Fred welcomed the Red Cross when volunteers arrived. They were thankful for the relief items, including clean, dry blankets for their families to sleep with, and tarpaulins that can be used to temporarily cover their roofs until their homes are rebuilt.
To support the Red Cross relief efforts in Micronesia, donations can be made through the Micronesia Red Cross Society by calling 691-320-7077 / 691-320-8700 or emailing email@example.com.