Monday, January 19, 2009

US may provide aid after waves pummel Marshalls

Agence France-Presse: The United States may provide emergency aid to two former Pacific territories after high waves hit low lying areas of the two atoll nations late last month, officials said. US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials are touring the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia this week assessing damage from the high waves that hit homes and crops and displaced hundreds of people.

Two FEMA inspectors left late Sunday with Marshall Islands Disaster Office authorities on a 14-day trip to assess the damage that prompted both the Marshalls and Micronesian governments to declare a state of emergency last month. "Food crops are a big concern," said Marshall Islands government Chief Secretary Casten Nemra, saying many areas around the country were inundated by salt water.

…Australia and Taiwan have provided assistance to the two countries since the flooding. Bart Deemer, a US Agency for International Development (USAID) official based in the Marshall Islands, said Sunday that US aid would be decided after the inspection by officials. Much of the land in the Marshall Islands is little more than one metre (yard) above sea level….

Sunset over the Pacific seen from Begin Island, Wotto, Marshall Islands, shot by Kepler, Wikimedia Commons

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