Typhoon Maysak: Resilient residents rebuild in Federated States of Micronesia while aid efforts continue

News and Press Release
Originally published
View original

More than two weeks after Typhoon Maysak lashed the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), aid workers are still working to provide emergency assistance to those in need.

The typhoon tore through islands in Micronesia last month, killing at least five people and leaving thousands displaced.

Volunteers from the Red Cross carried out assessments in the remote islands of Chuuk and Yap states, the areas most severely affected by the storm.

They have delivered supplies such as tarpaulins, water containers, lanterns and cooking sets.

Red Cross spokeswoman Karen Leiva, in Yap, told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat program that immediate relief had been distributed.

"What we're hearing is people in the affected communities, in the majority, they have what they need," she said.

"But the second set of needs are coming forward. Food and water are going to be the major issues going forward .... because in the islands, most of the food crops ... were damaged.

"It's obvious nutrition is going to be an issue."

Ms Leiva said water tanks in storm-hit areas were destroyed or contaminated in the storm.

She said the storm had shaken locals but they were pitching in to rebuild.

"This is a really strong group of people," she said.

"They started to rebuild almost immediately, they're not waiting for anything.

"There's no question there was trauma here, some of the villages were completely destroyed but they were very quick to get up and try to return life back to normality."

Ms Leiva said FSM would need to look at cyclone-proof housing.

"Right now they need to rebuild until they have proper shelter, because some of them, they're having to sleep in the local church, or the local schools. So they need to get a structure up so that they have a roof over their head," she said.

"There's definitely got to be some long-term planning on how to build those homes back stronger."

Australian Broadcasting Corporation