Saturday, April 4, 2015

Maysak destroys too much in Chuuk and Yap

FSMIS (April 3, 2015): The FSM States of Chuuk and Yap endured destructive strong winds from Typhoon Maysak.

Chuuk State

The storm made landfall in Chuuk on March 29, 2015, causing damage to several homes on islands in Chuuk Lagoon, the Upper Mortlocks and the Northwest Islands. Five deaths have been confirmed.

State personnel, with assistance from staff from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), have been conducting initial assessments in the communities on Weno Island and neighboring islands in the lagoon while the FSM Office of Environment and Emergency Management conducted spot assessment in the Upper Mortlocks region.

As of April 2nd, officials have also confirmed that eighty percent of local food source has badly affected and 830 dwellings destroyed, forcing close to seven thousand people to find shelter at nearby school facilities or move in with relatives.  The extent of destruction also includes some thirty-seven commercial food shops and twenty-four classroom structures and electric power infrastructure on Weno Island.

The Chuuk Public Utility Corporation has been hard at work to fully restore power. Power disruptions has forced the hotels to resort to their own water reserves and made additional stress to public sewer lines for the remaining private homes, public facilities, and other properties.

The FSM Telecommunication plant on Weno has been running on their own generator most of the time according to staff at the main office. Additional Telecom technicians have been dispatched to Chuuk to assist in restoring services. Telecom folks are working on rewiring cables that went down with power poles, correcting mis-aligned antenna systems, and remounting equipments that had been stowed in advance of the strong winds.

Governor Johnson Elimo has temporarily halted schools due to massive stress all around. To allow schools to resume in the near future, Chuuk State faces the challenge to ensure food rations to affected families and make available temporary "emergency shelters" to free up school facilities currently used as such.

Although hospital facilities are essentially in tact, sanitation watch is imperative, especially at the temporary shelters that may require portable toilets and hygienic support to prevent public sanitation problems.

Yap State

Typhoon Maysak hit the outer islands of Yap on March 31st with varying degrees of damage throughout the State of Yap. After initial surveyed were made, Governor Tony Ganngiyan issued a state of emergency for Yap on April 1st. President Mori then amended the Declaration of Emergency he had made on March 30th.

Other reports on the social media indicated some very early assessment has been provided to the Governor of Yap, with photographs on Ulithi, courtesy of the Pacific Mission Academy (PMA).


The FSM National Government has initiated emergency relief missions after President Mori issued a declaration of emergency, allowing access to $100,000 initial funding. Two patrol boats have been deployed to both Chuuk and Yap, while the Ms Caroline Voyager is to be loaded with food and water supplies to assist the affected islands.

The Office of Environment and Emergency Management (OEEM) leads the National Emergency Taskforce, working jointly with their counterparts in Chuuk and Yap, as well as the IOM and the Micronesian Red Cross Society.

The FSM has held meetings with the United States Embassy in Pohnpei to put in motion relief operation procedures according to the Amended Compact and discussed prospects for the involvement of other US disaster recovery assets under difficult circumstances.

The United Nations, and other international partners, have also been notified.

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