Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Pohnpei Governor Requested Assistance of FSM National Government

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Service): May 07, 1997 - FSM Acting President Jacob Nena directed Bermin Weilbacher, Director of the Office of Planning and Statistics (OPS) and Chutomu Nimwes, Special Assistant to the President on Disaster and Special Programs in a special meeting held on May 1, 1997, to request donations of clothing, furniture, kitchenware, uncooked food and other materials for the victims of the Iohl and Oumor landslides and that such donations be brought to the Office of the President's for delivery to Pohnpei State's Emergency Operation Center at Peilapalap, according to a May 1, 1997 letter by the National Planner.

Responding to his call, employees of the National Government donated sacks of rice, canned goods, utensils, other food stuff and materials which were delivered and presented by FSM Attorney General Camillo Noket, Esq., Special Assistant to the Vice President Josaiah Waguk and a number of FSM employees. The donations were delivered Friday evening, May 2, 1997, to the State Disaster Coordinating Officers at Pohnpei Governor's Office. And in response to Pohnpei Governor Del Pangelinan's request for assistance from the FSM National Government, Acting President Jacob Nena stated that the FSM Government has set-aside $100,000 to assist Pohnpei State in defraying disaster-related expenses, as provided by law.

In an April 29, 1997 Press Release, Pangelinan said that he will submit a formal request to the FSM National Government for financial assistance to pay for personnel, equipment and relief for the victims of the landslide, flooding and damage caused by Tropical Storm Jimmy and Typhoon Isa which struck Pohnpei on April 12 to 13, and on April 19 and 20, 1997, respectively.

The release also stated that USDA soil analyst Phil Giles toured the landslide areas in Oumor and Iohl on April 27, 1997, found that additional sliding occurred after heavy rainfall and the danger of landslides continue to exist. However, it was then determined that official search effort could resume on April 28, 1997.

Governor Pangelinan has requested Acting President Nena to request technical assistance from the United States in providing a geological survey of the island to determine areas which are prone to hazardous landslides. Such a survey is needed in order to advise the public of areas which are hazardous and where building constructions should not occur.

As of high noon on May 2, 1997, all eight individuals listed as missing as a result of the April 20, 1997, landslide in Oumor village in Sokehs Municipality have been recovered and have been given decent burials.

On April 30, 1997, the remains of the 12-years old male Lucas Kirielmo was recovered in the Iohl landslide and was buried. Official search ended at 4:30 P.M., Friday, May 2, 1997, for 7 year old Senoleen Kirielmo, the only remaining missing victim, according to telephone information from Pohnpei States Office of Emergency Coordination.

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