Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Second Update on Disaster Assessment from Chuuk and Pohnpei States

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): January 16, 2009 - As information continues to come in on the affects of the tidal surges from early December, reports from the Upper Mortlock Islands in Chuuk State and the Southern Islands of Pohnpei State are now available.

A Preliminary Damage Assessment Report was sent to the National Emergency Task Force detailing the damage of the Upper Mortlock Islands of Nema, Pis Emwar, and Losap. The report stated that all of the islands in the Upper Mortlocks were affected by salt water. On Losap, 95% of the taro, 90% of the breadfruit, and 90% of the bananas were sprayed. On Pis Emwar, 85% of the taro, 70% of the breadfruit, and 65% of banana were affected, and on Nama, 80% of the taro, 75% of the breadfruit and 65% of the banana and other crops were sprayed with sea water.

On January 5th, 2009, Caroline Voyager departed Pohnpei to the Southern Islands of Pohnpei to deliver emergency relief and to allow the Joint FSM/US/State Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) Team to these islands as the first part of the President Emergency Relief Plan.

On January 10, 2009 the Caroline Voyager returned from the islands of Ngatik, Nukuoro, Kapingamarangi, and Oroluk. The PDA Team reported that Nukuoro and Kepingamaragi were affected by the tidal surge and 75% of the taro, 77% of the breadfruit, 55% of the banana,12% of the coconut and 10% of the other crops were sprayed with sea water. On Oroluk Island, 50% of the taro was damaged and Sapwafik had no damage to their crops.

The proposed schedule for assessment by the Joint PDA Team in the Eastern Islands of Pohnpei, Chuuk Lagoon Islands and Kosrae State are as follows:

  1. Mwoakilloa and Pingelap - January 14th, 2009

  2. Faichuuk Area and Southern Namoneas Islands - January 15th, 2009

  3. Kosrae State January - January 14th to 17th, 2009

Information from these assessment teams should be made available as soon as the reports are filed.

Finally, the National Government has also received a pledge for additional funding for the relief efforts from the Australian Government that will provide US$50,000 in immediate emergency assistance to each of the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, in response to tidal surges and storms that have inundated the low-lying islands.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356