4 Jul 2002

Tropical storm kills at least 31 and leave 1000 homeless

4:10 pm on 4 July 2002

Disaster Emergency officers in the Federated States of Micronesia will today assess damages caused by typhoon Chataan which has killed at least 31 people, left more than 100 injured, and made over 1-thousand homeless in Chuuk State.

John Sound from the Chuuk Disaster Office says a slight break in the weather will give officials a chance to see the damage from the storm which has lashed the island state for two days.

Typhoon Chataan intensifed yesterday with winds of up to 112 kilometres per hour.

Mr Sound says rough seas and torrential rain have washed away homes and crops in coastal areas and triggered landslides inland.

He says about 30 landslides have struck the capital Weno and four other nearby islands burying people alive in their homes.

Mr Sound says the death toll is expected to rise.

"Deaths have climbed up to 31 persons. In Elin the island of Tonoas five presumed dead. Kuchuwa, Tonoas again, five presumed dead. In Udot principality reported four presumed dead. Homeless the number has gone to over 1000 and is expected to rise more. There is great need of food, clean water and clothing for the homeless people, even tents to house these people."

John Sound

The Chuuk State Governor declared a state of emergency yesterday and is seeking aid from the United States through the FSM National government.