Hawaii team to aid relief in Micronesia
by Craig Gima
HONOLULU, Hawai'i (Honolulu Star-Bulletin): July 5, 2002 - Disaster team experts from Hawaii were to arrive yesterday on Chuuk in the Federated States of Micronesia and Hagatna, Guam, to help with relief efforts from typhoon Chata'an.
The storm hit Micronesia earlier this week, and there are reports that at least 39 people were killed and up to 1,500 homes damaged by landslides caused by heavy rains.
The storm is headed toward Guam and may make landfall sometime tonight Hawaii time.
The Salvation Army sent an eight-member team, including one person from Hawaii, to Chuuk to assess what relief is needed.
The American Red Cross sent a disaster expert with a satellite phone yesterday afternoon to Hagatna to help coordinate efforts there if the storm hits Guam. Another 25 Red Cross volunteers are on standby to go to Guam.
Continental Airlines, which operates a direct daily flight to Guam, said it was monitoring the situation, but as of yesterday no flights had been affected.
Robert Lorin, a worker with Catholic Charities who is from Micronesia, was able to call home last night. He said his nephew told him it has been raining for a week and that most of the damage and casualties are from flooding and landslides.
Daniel Rescue, the senior counsel in Honolulu for the Federated States of Micronesia, said phone lines to many areas are still intact, and he believes most Micronesians living here have been able to contact family back home.
He estimates there are more than 4,000 Micronesians living in Hawaii.