Pohnpei Hill remain hazardous

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POHNPEI HILLSIDES REMAIN HAZARDOUS

After examining the Pohnpei villages where 19 persons lost their lives in mud slides last month, a U.S. Department of Agriculture soil analyst says the danger of additional landslides continues to exist.

The analyst, Phil Giles, reported that minor additional sliding occurred in the area of Iohl and Oumor villages after recent heavy rainfall.

Hillside soil structure in the region has been weakened as a result of land clearing for sakau, a mildly narcotic pepper plant, and other crops.

Meantime, the state of Pohnpei and Federated States of Micronesia governments have requested US technical assistance in dealing with the soil problem. The US has been asked to conduct a geological survey of Pohnpei Island, in an effort to identify all areas prone to future landslides.

An earlier request by FSM President Jacob Nena to U.S. President Bill Clinton, asking that Pohnpei be declared a disaster area and eligible for Federal Emergency Management Agency funding, is expected to be acted upon next week.

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