Guam Mobilizes To Help Cyclone Devastated FSM

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Recovery could take ‘well over a year’ in Yap, Chuuk

By Jerick Sablan

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, April 7, 2015) – Guam is lending a big helping hand to the residents of Chuuk and Yap hurt by Typhoon Maysak.

Last week, Typhoon Maysak devastated islands in both Chuuk and Yap as it passed over them. The typhoon left a trail of destroyed homes and crops, and contaminated fresh-water supplies.

[PIR editor’s note: RNZI reported that ‘The head of the Red Cross in Federated States of Micronesia says it could take well over a year for the states of Yap and Chuuk to recover from damage caused by typhoon Maysak last week. ... Isao Frank says 90 percent of homes on some islands were destroyed by the category five typhoon. ... Most crops were also wiped out and water supplies contaminated in the affected areas.’]

The Ayuda Foundation, a nonprofit, which falls under the Association of Pacific Island Legislatures, has two 40-foot containers donated by Matson which will be sent to Chuuk and Yap this week.

Carlotta Leon Guerrero, the group's executive director, yesterday said the 40-foot container bound for Chuuk has already been filled. The container for Yap is about half to 60 percent full.

"Guam knows how to respond," she said.

Since Friday, residents and businesses have brought a lot of donations to the container in Mangilao. And yesterday, several local businesses donated hundreds of pounds of rice, canned meat and cases of water, Leon Guerrero said.

The Lions Clubs International District 204 Lions donated tarps, which will help hundreds of people who've lost their homes and need shelter from the rain, she said.

Residents are encouraged to donate their items at various mayor's offices or at Castle Mall in Mangilao from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today.

Other businesses, organizations and the local government are also leading efforts to help the typhoon victims.

The Federated States of Micronesia communication office in a release stated that, as of April 2, officials have confirmed that 80 percent of local food sources have been badly affected; and 830 homes have been destroyed, forcing close to 7,000 people to find shelter at schools or move in with relatives.

Thirty-seven food shops, 24 classrooms and electric power infrastructure on Weno Island have also been destroyed, the release states.

The FSM national government has begun emergency relief missions after President Manny Mori issued a declaration of emergency, allowing access to $100,000 in initial funding.

Patrol boats have been deployed to both Chuuk and Yap, while the MS Caroline Voyager is to be loaded with food and water to help the affected islands, the release states.

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