Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Yap Declared Disaster Area After Typhoon Fern

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Service): March 20, 1997 - Damages suffered after Typhoon Fern hit the State of Yap in December 1996 have been declared by US President as disaster area and would be eligible for Federal Relief when detail damage assessment is conducted by officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the FSM Disaster Offices, according to Chutomu Nimwes, President's Special Assistant for Disaster and Special Programs

A Team of 13 FEMA officials will arrive in Guam to set up an office to coordinate FEMA activities, assessments of damages and implementation of relief and restoration projects.

Nimwes stated that the Declaration is limited to public facilities which is estimated to be in the neighborhood of $2.9 million. The costs of restoration of public facilities will be shared with FEMA contributing 75 percent and the affected entity contributing 25 percent.

The declaration excludes individual family assistance or relief for damages to private property, Nimwes stated. However, if as a result of the damage assessment the FSM wishes to seek assistance for damages to personal properties, a request or appeal can be lodged by the FSM with the FEMA Director within 60 days of the date of the declaration, March 18, 1997, for reconsideration of the original declaration for possible inclusions of assistance to personal or private property.

Of the 13 FEMA officials arriving in Guam this week, eight will proceed to Yap with Nimwes to participate in the assessment of the damages and five will return to Guam leaving three to help the local officials until the process is fully completed, Nimwes stated, adding that all State Disaster Officers will also travel to Yap for a week to help in the assessment process and to learn first how to conduct on the scene assessment processes from the FEMA officials.

Nimwes estimated that it will take approximately two weeks to complete the process and make a factual and comprehensive assessment which will be submitted to the FSM Acting President and to the FEMA Director.

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