Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Chuuk notified of approved FEMA assistance

Palikir, POHNPEI (FSM Information Services): August 8, 2007 - Vice President Alik L. Alik notified Chuuk's Governor Wesley W. Simina on August 2, that several islands in State of Chuuk have been approved for emergency assistance under the United States Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The islands identified to receive the assistance are Onanu, Onou and Tamatam in the Northwest region and Kuttu, Lekinioch and Oneop in the Mortlocks region.

Vice President Alik's letter also noted that Woodrow Goins, Jr. - Federal Coordinating Officer for FEMA is tentatively scheduled to travel to the Federated States of Micronesia to coordinate the assistant agreement between FSM and FEMA and work out details of the federal assistance.

Accordingly, the State Coordinating Officer Oleen Poll from the FSM Disaster Coordinating Office was in Chuuk over the weekend of August 4-5 to meet with representatives of Chuuk State Government and other entities with relevant responsibilities under the FSM's disaster coordinating office.

The specific assistances identified under the federal program are the Emergency Food Assistance Program and emergency protective measures within the Public Assistance program.

A FEMA-State Agreement is being drafted to detail the coordination of the emergency assistance to the affected islands in the State of Chuuk.

Beginning January through March 2007, several islands in the State of Chuuk went through an El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) related drought that resulted in the loss of agricultural production. Unusually high tides further exacerbated the conditions with wave surges that swept inland to further damage the crops and the freshwater wells along with catchments.

Governor Simina declared a State of Emergency on March 31 and obligated state-owned resources to address the conditions in the affected islands. The National Government followed suit with a declaration on May 9, 2007.

On May 14 President Manny Mori transmitted to US President George W. Bush the FSM's request for an emergency declaration. A joint US/FSM Preliminary Damage Assessment team was mobilized and dispatched to assess the noted islands.

The report by the joint PDA Team concluded that an emergency exist due to persisting drought conditions.

On July 31 2007, the US declared the islands under emergency and authorized Federal relief and recovery assistance.

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