Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Nena Declared Pohnpei Disaster, Asked President Clinton Likewise

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Service): April 25, 1997 - FSM Acting President Jacob Nena formally requested U.S. President William J. Clinton to declare Pohnpei State, Federated States of Micronesia, a major disaster area for destruction caused by Typhoon Isa and its aftermath, in an April 21, 1997, letter to President Clinton, with reference to Section 401, Public Law No. 93-288, as amended by Public Law 100-707, implemented by Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 206-36.

The FSM Acting President in his letter expounded on the extensive and unprecedented property damages and the highest number of lives lost in a single incident as relayed to him by Governor Pangelinan and requested for a swift and sympathetic consideration.

Nena stated hat preliminary estimates and sufferings are well beyond the capabilities and resources available locally. Thus, necessitates Supplementary Disaster Assistance including the individual and public assistance grants, DOE Assistance and the SBA Disaster Loan. In a priority message responding to Acting President Nena's request from William L. Carwile, III, Director, Pacific Area Office, FEMA's region IX, advised Nena that a team was dispatched to Pohnpei on April 23, 1997, to conduct a preliminary assessment and that Acting President Nena will be advised of the results of their preliminary assessments, accordingly. Consequently, the FEMA team arrived from Guam Wednesday, April 23, 1997. After meeting with Governor Pangelinan and state officials Thursday morning, they began assessing the damages by visiting the two landslide sites, according to a telephone interview with Chutomu Nimwes, Special Assistant for Disaster and Special Programs to FSM President. Prior to their coming to Pohnpei, the Team was working in Yap State and Guam as a result of Typhoon Fern. The five-member team is headed by Deryl Wait. They began gathering information on damages on Pohnpei, working in close cooperation with the local, state and national officials and affected individuals. Pohnpei State designated Watson Pelep to help in the assistance from the United States Federal Government's assessment of public facilities damages and Nikontro Johnny to help in the assessment of individual property damages , said Nimwes, adding, that public assistance (PA) is for damages involving public roads, utilities, public buildings while individual assistance (IA) is for damages to private homes, private properties including vehicles, crops to name a few.

Pohnpei State's response is immediate, an announcement has been repeated over the radio V6AH advising those who suffer damages to file their claims with the Chief Magistrate of their Municipality.

Nimwes also said that representatives of Small Business Administration (SBA) is expected to visit Pohnpei to assess damages involving business establishments. Nimwes, praising FEMA for the quickness of the response to the FSM Acting President's request, said that the FEMA team plans to leave Pohnpei after a week

The FEMA Team headed by Deryl Wait, Team Leader, Frank Dayton, Army Corps of Engineer; Diana Montgomery who are responsible for public assistance data collections. Tamara Frederickson and Willam Lundy are responsible for collection of individual assistance information, and reports and computers, respectively.

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