Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

President Mori Declares A National Emergency

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Service): December 30, 2008 - Today, President Manny Mori signed a Presidential Emergency Declaration and officially declared a National State of Disaster for FSM. This declaration is in response to all four of the FSM States declaring a state of emergency from the damage caused by the tidal surges earlier this month. The Presidential Declaration outlined these emergencies in detail.

For Pohnpei State, on December 19, 2008, Governor John Ehsa declared the islands of Kapingamarangi, Mwokil, Ngetik, Nukuror, Oroluk, Pakin and Pingelap to be in a state of emergency because of the unusually high tides resulting in the inundations on the outer islands. The people on those islands being dependent upon agricultural land as primary source of their food products have been deprived of their staple food and livelihood.

On December 24, 2008, Governor Robert Weilbacher of the State of Kosrae declared the existence of a state of emergency because of tidal surges that caused property flooding, damage and destruction of household and business infrastructures and crops. Residents in the affected area had to be evacuated for their safety. The emergency declaration affected the municipalities of Tafunsak and Lelu and other communities of Kosrae State.

On December 26, 2008, Governor Wesley Semina declared a state of emergency throughout all the island municipalities of Chuuk because of unusual high tide and tidal surge during the period of December 8th to the 11th of 2008. The Chuuk State Emergency Task Force was activated in order to protect the affected population, to minimize threats to people's lives and properties and to prevent occurrence of contagious disease.

On December 26, 2008, Governor Sebastian Anefal issued a Declaration of Major Disaster for the outer islands of Yap citing the weather anomaly in the Pacific Ocean that caused high tides, severe coastal erosion, and damage to shoreline properties, including crops and community structures. The residents of the outer islands have suffered a food shortage as a result.

All the Governors requested for the National Government to provide assistance to the peoples in their respective States to remediate or minimize continued threats to people's health and safety, and their properties. Now that President Mori has signed the Presidential Emergency Declaration, he will commit the available resources of the National Government to provide relief to the affected people. The FSM National Emergency Task Force has presented the President their action plan and the President has called the FSM Congress for a Special Session to address appropriations for the emergency plan, among other items. Relief efforts will begin with the two FSM patrol boats heading out to the Mortlock Islands of Chuuk State and the Northwest Islands of Chuuk State, continuing on to the outer islands of Yap State on January 1st. They will carry assessment teams and food and water supplies. The MS Voyager will steam on January 5th to the Southern Islands of Pohnpei State with a separate assessment team and food and water for these islands. The Emergency Task Force has set up its Emergency Operations Center at the FSM National Police Maritime Wing office in Dekehtik, Pohnpei State to monitor communication from the boats and they will provide daily situation reports to the President.

Within the FSM Constitution, once the President declares a state of emergency for the nation, he is empowered to make executive decisions to reallocate the resources of the National Government to address the needs of the people. After 30 days Congress must act to either extend the emergency declaration or to revoke it.


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
e-mail: fsmpio@mail.fm
http://www.fsmpio.fm/