UN humanitarian team helps Micronesia recover following tropical storm

4 December 2003

The United Nations agency for humanitarian coordination has sent a disaster assessment team to Micronesia after Typhoon Lupit struck the Pacific islands nation early last week, destroying food crops, contaminating water supplies and damaging homes and public facilities.

The three-member assessment team, organized by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), was deployed after the Federal States of Micronesia’s Government requested help, OCHA said in a statement released today in New York. It is currently in Yap State, working with local officials and United States support.

The OCHA team’s preliminary assessment has found that contaminated water supplies has led to reported outbreaks of communicable diseases, while shelter is needed immediately for the residents of 200 homes that were completely destroyed during the tropical storm. Power distribution in Yap State has also been disrupted.

OCHA’s statement said food and water supplies should arrive from Guam and elsewhere tomorrow, but warned that the distribution of relief items could be delayed because of mechanical problems with a government ship.

No casualties or injuries as a result of the typhoon were reported, thanks to an early-warning system, but low-lying areas in neighbouring islands, especially in the north and west of Yap State, suffered severe damage from the strong winds and a tidal surge.


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