Micronesia - Typhoon Lupit OCHA Situation Report No. 3

Report
from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 09 Dec 2003
Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2003/0152
OCHA Situation Report No. 3
Federated States of Micronesia - Typhoon Lupit
Occurred on 21-25 November 2003

This information is based on reports provided by the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team which has been deployed to Yap State of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM).

Situation and Needs

1. Damage assessments are being continued for the islands of Yap State which were affected by Typhoon Lupit on 23-25 November, by the National Disaster Assessment Team in cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the UNDAC team. The assessments have been completed for the Yap main island, Rumung Island, Ulithi Atoll, Woleai Atoll and Fais Island. It was found that Ulithi Atoll, Woleai Atoll and Fais Island have suffered significant damage, while damages to Yap main island and Rumung Island were relatively minor.

2. Ulithi Atoll with its population of 700 has significant damage to its water supply and food crops as a direct result of the typhoon. Potable water is widely contaminated with salt brought by storm surge during the typhoon. Strong winds and storm surge have had a major and sustained effect upon the production of crops such as Taro, breadfruit, bananas, coconuts and other tuberous crops, on which the island people depend as a major source of food. Over the next few months the community will need tools, implements, seed and plants to allow them to redevelop the crops. Building materials and tools are needed to rebuild homes and maintain a level of shelter and comfort for them to survive. The community is resilient and independent with the ability to undertake the necessary recovery itself.

3. Woleai Atoll with its population of 920 has an immediate and pressing need for water. Yap State Government has arrangements in place to transport additional water to the island and this should suffice. Measures must be implemented immediately to allow the community to replant where possible and to take measures to mitigate the impact upon the limited available arable land. Arable land impacted by seawater and salt needs to be treated to ensure future arability. Specialist advice is essential. Tools, agricultural resources and building materials need to be provided urgently to this community.

4. Fais Island with its population of 250 has three priority needs: 1) potable water to tide the community over until rain fills available tanks, 2) food to supplement the loss due to damage sustained by trees on the islands, and 3) tools and building materials to allow the community to reinstate structures and houses, and agriculture to the level before the typhoon.

National Response

5. The government ship 'Micro Spirit', the major transportation resource available to the Government, had a problem with its steering motor. However, repair work has been completed with the parts for the steering motor for the ship and technicians who arrived from Japan. The ship departed, from Yap harbour this afternoon with a total amount 25,312 litres of water and 730 bags of rice on board for the total population of 3,836 people in the affected atolls. The round trip of the ship scheduled to take approximately two weeks. The relief items delivered by the ship are estimated to sustain the affected people for up to one month.

International Response

6. The Government of FSM has requested international assistance.

7. The FEMA assessment team in their preliminary assessment report has estimated total damages at around USD 740,500, mainly centered on destruction of buildings, public infrastructures, and the costs for clearing debris. At this stage there is no indication from FEMA on what kind of actual assistance it will provide to the State to meet these costs.

8. A three-member UNDAC Team deployed by OCHA has completed all rapid assessments for the five affected islands. The team is trying to identify immediate relief and rehabilitation needs for international assistance in consultation with the Government departments and associated agencies.

9. OCHA is providing USD 10,000 for local purchase of relief goods for the affected islands. OCHA is in contact with the relevant government authorities of FSM through the UNDAC team and the OCHA Regional Disaster Response Advisor for the Pacific in Suva, Fiji, and will revert with further information as it becomes available.

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

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. M=FCller / Mr. S. Nakajima
Direct Tel. +41-22-917 31 31 / 40 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 https://www.unocha.org/.