April 29, 2015

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press

April 19, 2015 Pohnpei, FSM -Volunteers from the Micronesia Red Cross Society (MRCS) activated immediately following Typhoon Maysak's landfall in Chuuk and in Yap. Approximately 45 trained Red Cross volunteers in Pohnpei, Chuuk and Yap have been supporting relief efforts since the very beginning.

They've been just a bit too busy to talk about what they have been doing. An MRCS volunteer said this week that by the time the volunteers return home they're too exhausted to send messages or photos of what they have been doing. In the morning, they're ready to go again and don't have the time.

MRCS was able to respond quickly because it had pre-positioned supplies. It has since exhausted all of its prepositioned supplies. Additional relief supplies are being shipped in from within the region.

According to a press release from the headquarters in Pohnpei, the Red Cross estimates that approximately 30,000 people throughout the FSM's islands were affected by Typhoon Maysak in some way. "Many victims lost their homes or roofs, crops were damaged or destroyed, and water catchments were either contaminated or damaged," the press release said. "Red Cross volunteers have conducted thousands of needs assessments in communities and distributed more than 1500 relief supplies," the press release says.

It says that on April 6, 10 MRCS volunteers boarded a government boat in order to reach affected communities. "The Red Cross conducted needs assessments on the Islands of Ulithi and distributed 650 urgently needed relief supplies including 137 water containers, 26 tarpaulins, 328 blankets, 127 buckets and 32 lanterns.

In Chuuk, Micronesia Red Cross Chuuk chapter activated immediately after the typhoon made landfall. "Initially, 20 Red Cross volunteers conducted needs assessments in more than 3000 households , and distributed 910 urgently needed relief supplies including, 156 water containers, 129 tarpaulins, 412 blankets, 130 buckets, 12 lanterns and 71 cooking sets," the press release says.

Currently, Red Cross volunteers in Yap and in Chuuk are supporting relief efforts by assisting the government and the International Organization for Migration to load and unload cargo ships or airplanes heading to affected areas. They are also assisting with the distribution of additional relief supplies donated by private citizens. Those donations have included canned meat, water, milk, fruit, toilet paper, noodles and, rice.