High surf pounds Chuuk

by Steve Limtiaco

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News): April 11, 2002 - High surf surged across several islands in Chuuk State in the Federated States of Micronesia earlier this week, destroying homes, flooding crops and injuring at least one resident.

The island of Moch, in the Mortlocks, appears to have suffered the most damage when 15-foot waves rushed inland early Monday afternoon.

According to a report by the island's deputy mayor, surf went past seawalls and flooded 15 homes and five meeting halls, with water reaching the rooftops.

Five of the homes were destroyed and 10 were severely damaged.

Seventy-one now-homeless people were evacuated to school classrooms and other homes.

One man was injured when he was unable to leave his home and the roof fell on him, according to a report sent by the Chuuk Governor's Office.

Seawalls on Oneop were damaged Monday when the ocean surged about 100 feet inland, but homes and property were not damaged, according to the report.

Nine homes in Lekinioch were flooded Tuesday morning, according to the report, and taro patches on the northern end of the island were flooded.

Nachsa Siren, director of health for Chuuk State, said there have been no reports from some islands.

"(Chuuk government) didn't have any radio contact with the rest of the islands there, and that's why they are sending out a ship," Siren said.

"Apparently they are sending out a ship today (to the Mortlocks) to assess the damage, and they will report back to the governor of Chuuk."

The unusually hazardous surf was caused by a storm off Japan, according to the report.

The same storm caused hazardous surf in western and northwestern Guam on Sunday and Monday.