By Kassi Berg
On December 4, 2012, Palau President Johnson Toribiong invoked his Constitutional authority to declare a State of Emergency citing the “catastrophic destruction” following Super Typhoon Bopha. While no loss of lives or serious injury has yet been reported, the President explained that “the winds and storm surge” resulted in “scores of people … rendered homeless for the foreseeable future.” The nation’s capitol is still serving as a shelter for those without habitable homes. Infrastructure, such as power, water, and sewer service has also been disrupted for the foreseeable future. All of this threatens “Palau’s food supply” and raises “public health concerns.”
A State of Emergency permits the President to assume legislative powers for up to 10 days without the consent of the legislature. In that capacity, following his Declaration, the President appropriated $5 million dollars for immediate disaster relief. Early estimates approximate the damage for repair and rebuilding at $10 million dollars. The most significant typhoon destruction was sustained on the “east side” of Palau’s largest island, Babeldoab, as well as the outlying States of Anguar and Peleliu.
OTV crew went by helicopter today to Anguar and Peleliu to document the aftermath of Typhoon Bopha. To view photos and video please continue to check www.oceaniatv.net.