Palau Moves Forward In Recovery Following Haiyan

By R. Jonathan

The Republic of Palau is moving forward in efforts to recover from the devastation caused by Super Typhoon Haiyan on November 7, price 2013.

Since Haiyan’s passage, for sale essential services including power and communications have been restored.

Power and water have been restored in most areas except for severely damaged areas such as Kayangel and Ngarchelong.

A massive clean up of Kayangel, more about the northern island atoll of Palau flattened by the storm began on November 14, 2013.

The clean up consists of removing debris from damaged homes, removing fallen trees and conducting a general clean up of the island.

Dozens of volunteers, residents and government workers were dispatched to assist the state in the clean up process.

Immediately following Haiyan, Palau’s President Tommy Remengesau Junior declared a national state of emergency.

On November 11, 2013, the $1,480,000 Super Typhoon Haiyan Emergency Funding Act was authorized and appropriated for emergency operations and disaster relief.


Assistance Pouring In

Assistance has also been pouring in from donor partners and close allies in a bid to assist Palau in the recovery and clean-up phase.

The Republic of China-Taiwan has announced a donation of $100,000 aimed towards reconstruction efforts.

The government of Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has announced a donation of goods worth US$20,000, which will be mainly used to assist in the clean up of Kayangel State.

Goods including generators, sleeping pads and tarpaulins were prepared for shipment last week.  According to the Japan Embassy in Koror, the goods are expected to arrive in Palau soon.

Local groups are also extending a hand to those affected by Haiyan.

The Maibrel Women’s Group on Monday November 18, 2013 presented $1,000 to Kayangel Governor Jeffrey Titiml for the residents of Kayangel, who survived Haiyan’s powerful winds and storm surges.

Peleliu State, Ngiwal State, friends and families have also donated raw and cooked food, clothing and beddings to the survivors.

The Kayangel Club of Guam is also holding a fundraising event later this month with proceeds to benefit the residents of the island state.



The northern states of Palau were severely damaged by the Typhoon with Koror, the most populous area of Palau experiencing minor damages.

Kayangel was in the eye of the storm experiencing powerful winds of over 160 mph.

Ngarchelong State, located in the northern tip of Palau’s main island of Babeldaob and closest to Kayangel experienced minor to severe damages.

Houses were destroyed or damaged, tin roofs were found laying yards from houses and buildings, and trees were no longer standing in Kayangel.

More than 300 homes in Palau were damaged or destroyed by Haiyan, according to the initial damage assessment report by the National Emergency Committee (NEC).

Some schools sustained minor to major damages including the Ngarchelong and Aimeliik Elementary Schools.



The JFK Elementary School was totally destroyed. The school’s entire roof was missing and items within the classrooms were scattered around.

Some residents took shelter at the school, but a resident told OTV that their quick thinking led them to the State Government office.

Others took refuge in the State’s dispensary and concrete water tanks while others hid underneath homes and in restrooms.

Miraculously, all sixty-nine residents on the island at the time of Haiyan’s passage survived.

No injuries or deaths were reported in other affected areas of Palau.

However, the entire state of Kayangel is without proper shelter with exception of few intact dwellings.

Water and power are also down, but the Palau Public Utilities Corporation (PPUC), which overseas Palau’s water and power operations are working on restoring those services.

Temporary Shelter

More than thirty women, children and men are temporary settled at the Bai Ra Seisang in the Meketii Hamlet of Koror.

The group was earlier evacuated from Kayangel for safety purposes and to allow all fourteen students proper education while awaiting recovery and reconstruction of Kayangel.

Majority of the sixty-nine survivors evacuated to the main island with a few who remained to clean up and clear the roads of debris.

The group was evacuated to the Ngarachamayong Cultural Center following Haiyan and then relocated to the Bai Ra Seisang on Sunday November 17, 2013.

Students and staff of JFK Elementary School were accommodated in various schools in Koror in order to prevent any interruption in the student’s education.

The Milad’L Dil women’s organization along with Bank of Guam and Neco Plaza provided school supplies and uniforms to the students worth over $1,600.

Nearly two weeks after the Typhoon displaced dozens of families, the nation continues to work towards returning the Republic back to normalcy.