YAP SIGHS AS TROPICAL STORM MISSES

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HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, May 19) - Yap narrowly escaped yesterday what could have been its second natural disaster in almost six weeks.

Tropical Storm Omais made its closest point of approach to Yap island at about 1 p.m. yesterday when it was about 45 miles southwest of the island, said National Weather Service meteorologist Michael Ziobro.

Omais is a Palauan word meaning "running around."

The governor of Yap state, in the Federated States of Micronesia, announced an "all-clear" for the storm at 5:30 last night, said Yap disaster command center commander Thomas Tun. But he said the island was still on the lookout for tidal surges as high tide approached last night.

The storm came a month after Yap and its outer islands were hit by Typhoon Sudal, which damaged nearly every home.

Yap residents were worried about yesterday's tropical storm, which took a similar path as Sudal did on April 9. Though the storm was not anticipated to be as strong, residents worried about the impact of the storm on temporary shelters, since many people continue to live in Federal Emergency Management Agency tents or use tarps for roofs and walls.

"The storm missed us," Tun said.

May 19, 2004

Pacific Daily News: www.guampdn.com

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