By: Olkeriil Ngirudelsang

Financial assistance will be given out soon to households that were damaged by typhoon Surigae according to Red Cross Executive Director Joanne Maireng Sengebau.  The assistance may be issued out as early as next week.

Homes classified as category 1 will be receiving $200 whereas households classified as category 2 will be receiving $1,000 dollars.  This assistance only covers primary households.

Other properties not considered primary dwellings are not eligible for this assistance. NEC’s current public information officer Ltelatk Fritz stated, “that financial assistance will not apply to those whose cars, boats, plants or other properties were ruined. Assistance is strictly for damaged or destroyed homes. 

Initial assessments of homes that were damaged by Surigae were conducted within 72 hours of the typhoon’s passing. Palau Red Cross’ R-DATS (Disaster action teams) situated in each state did the assessments. Due to its large population, Red Cross volunteers as well as Koror state government employees assessed Koror State’s households.

During a press announcement, the National Emergency Management Office(NEMO) Director Waymine Towai, stated that a total of 931 houses in Palau were partially damaged including 106 homes which were totally destroyed as a result of the recently passed typhoon. This is “more than 20 percent of homes in Palau” stated President Whipps in his first state of the republic address yesterday.

According to Red Cross Director Sengebau, review of initial damage assessments of typhoon Surigae especially for large states of Koror and Airai is still ongoing therefore this number of households damaged or completely destroyed could go up.

The initial assessments used as basis for this financial assistance’s distribution has three categories. Those households that did not experience damage to their primary dwellings as a result of the typhoon will be classified as category zero. Households that suffered partial to significant damage to the dwelling structure; the household damages are major; and/or the residents were not able to occupy the household during the initial 72 hours immediately after the disaster are classified as category one. Houses completely destroyed and residents are unable to occupy the dwelling structure are classified as category two.

After meeting with Governors Association on Wednesday, Executive Director Sengebau revealed that once the financial assistance is ready, households affected shall be picking up this assistance at their respective state offices.

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