NMI Relief Assistance To Chuuk Flown Out

by Ulysses Torres Sabuco

SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands (Marianas Variety): July 23, 2002 - Despite the weather conditions, U.S. military personnel last night transported the CNMI's relief assistance to Chuuk on a C-130 plane.

The flight had been delayed for several days.

Local American Red Cross Executive Director John Hirsh told Variety that the plane touched down at Saipan International Airport at about 4:45 p.m. yesterday after earlier taking Guam medical personnel to Chuuk.

It was the Federal Emergency Management Agency that commissioned the flight from Anderson Air Force Base on Guam.

The plane then left for the return trip to Chuuk last night after more than three hours of loading the relief assistance, which included 11 pallets of emergency cleanup kits and medical supplies as well as more than 500 pounds of personal clothing.

Hirsh said the plane made an earlier brief stopover at Saipan International Airport at around 9:30 a.m. yesterday, and immediately proceeded to Chuuk with the medical personnel as its passengers.

Hirsh said the C-130 personnel had no time to load the relief goods earlier in the day.

But two military personnel were left to assist local Red Cross volunteers prepare the relief assistance.

Heavy rains brought by super typhoon Fengshen delayed the scheduled early return of the aircraft.

The scheduled transport of the relief assistance earlier was called off twice due to the plane's "technical problems."