16 Jul 2002

Chuuk Typhoon victims in desperate need of food and medicines

10:33 am on 16 July 2002

A non profit medical group in Guam says there is a desperate need of food and medicines for the victims of Typhoon Chata'an which swept across Micronesia nearly two weeks ago.

"Carlotta Leon-Guerrero from the Ayuda (Eye-Jew-Dah) Foundation says up to 2-thousand Chuuk Islanders, living in emergency shelters, are unable to feed themselves."

The lack of food and medicines is further exacerbated by a delay in American aid because the FSM's emergency declaration to the US did not meet its legal standards.

Typhoon Chata'an swept through FSM nearly two weeks ago causing landslides which destroyed villages, killed over 40 people, left many homeless and injured.

Mrs Leon-Guerrero says the Chuuk authorities are struggling to care for the typhoon victims.

The hospital struggled to give primary care, they quickly exhausted their equipment, their supplies, their people so we were hearing about a lot of amputations. One time there were three children with depressed skull fractures, lots of broken bones. Now we're hearing about the food supply, and people are starting to feel hunger, there are no crops and the water supply is contaminated as well. So there is a big push right now and everybody is in fear of infectious diseases as a result of this.

Carlotta Leon-Guerrero an Ayuda medical team in FSM had performed 37 critical operations in two days and had treated many for malnutrition.