Post-Wutip damages to FSM cost at least $2M

U.S. Army Soldiers move a water tank during Pacific Partnership 2019 in Chuuk March 31. The soldiers are part of a team that provided support to local communities' as they recover from the aftermath of Typhoon Wutip. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Tyrell K. Morris)

PALIKIR, Pohnpei – Typhoon Wutip destroyed more than one hundred homes and heavily damaged major agricultural crops and public infrastructure in the Federated States of Micronesia, according to a joint damage assessment report released on Friday, April 12.

Initial estimates from the report, according to information from the FSM government, suggest that the supplemental disaster assistance cost for the area would exceed $2 million. Meanwhile, emergency needs and public infrastructure repairs would require at least $1 million each, according to the report.

The FSM national government is preparing to request U.S. President Donald J. Trump to make a presidential disaster declaration on behalf of the federated states to allow the government to access additional funding for those affected by the typhoon, according to the report.

The joint damage assessment team is composed of representatives from the FSM national and state governments, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The team conducted their assessment of Typhoon Wutip-related damage between March 18 and April 4, 2019.

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Louella Losinio is PNC's News Director for TV and Digital Media. She was a former reporter for the Marianas Variety (Guam Edition) and the Guam Daily Post, former editor-in-chief and co-founder of the Pacific Island Times, As a freelance writer, she has contributed content to various regional and local publications such as the Marianas Business Journal, Guam Business Magazine, The Guamanian, and Island Times. Aside from her decade-long experience in the media and print industry, Louella has experience in technical writing, education, and nonprofit management.