Assist: Chuuk needs our help in landslide recovery efforts


HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News): July 14, 2002 - While there is no doubt that the people of Guam are suffering in the wake of Typhoon Chata'an, it's a level far different from what our brothers and sisters in Chuuk are enduring.

On July 2, heavy rains from Chata'an, then a tropical storm, triggered more than 30 landslides in the 11 islands that make up Chuuk State, part of the Federated States of Micronesia. More than 47 people have been confirmed dead, with many more still missing. Dozens were injured and about 1,000 people are now homeless.

Temporary shelters are filled to capacity, and there is a shortage of medicine, food and clothing. Disaster relief aid from the United States has been held up by bureaucratic red tape, though a Federal Emergency Management Agency team flew to Chuuk yesterday to try to medevac three critically injured people to Hawaii.

Doctors, nurses and other volunteers from Guam, including the Ayuda Foundation, have gone to Chuuk, bringing their services and desperately needed supplies, and more volunteer groups are expected.

Our neighbors in Micronesia need our help. It won't be easy, as residents and businesses here try to cope with losses incurred by Typhoon Chata'an on top of already tough economic times, but we all must do what we can.

If everyone in the community does a little, together we can make a significant difference to help our neighbors cope with their tragedy.

Collect canned goods and other nonperishable food. Gather up older blankets and clothes still in good condition. Bring the items, or cash donations, to the Salvation Army's Family Services Center at Building 615 on East Sunset Blvd., to the Salvation Army community center along Corten Torres Street in Mangilao, or to Speaker Tony Unpingco's office at the legislative building in Hagåtña.

For more information, call the Ayuda Foundation at 473- 3003 or the Salvation Army at 477-3528, 777-2055/ 4015.