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HAGATNA, Guam (Marianas Variety, Dec. 31) - Immediately following the impact of Supertyphoon Pongsona, volunteers from the local chapter of the American Red Cross assisted families affected by this devastating storm.

Five days into the emergency phase of the relief operation, the Red Cross began registering families who suffered damage to their homes through a toll free number in order to begin receiving financial assistance.

To date, the Red Cross has registered over 25,000 families with more than 10,000 having already received financial assistance.

Each day additional families continue to be assisted financially through the Astumbo and Agat Service Centers. This assistance is being provided so that people can purchase essential items lost or damaged as a result of the storm.

As the relief efforts move forward, the Red Cross has begun to see a significant decline in the number of families requesting assistance in meeting their emergency needs.

In addition, there has been an increase in the availability of important government aid for families on Guam.

According to Larry Koslick, director of the Red Cross relief operation, "Our goal was to provide families the quickest and most efficient access to emergency aid possible. In doing so, we implemented a new telephone registration process for those affected and issued aid in the form of travelers’ checks. This has allowed families to take greater control of their own recovery."

December 31, 2002

For additional reports from the Marianas Variety, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/ Marianas Variety.

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