By Fr. Ken Hezel, SJ
In a recent message, Bishop Julio Angel, Coadjutor-Bishop of the Diocese of the Carolines appealed to the Bishops of Dioceses in the Pacific for help for “food” after damages from the recent powerful Typhon Wutip. Super Typhoon Wutip crossed over and damaged about ten low lying islands in the Western part of the State of Chuuk and the easternmost part of the Yap State. Some islands such as Moch, Oneop, Puluwat Satawal and Faraulap were affected by damaging strong wind and water.
Population ranges from 200 to 800 people on these islands. There are reports of extensive water damage to the taro and root crops. Most people on these islands live by subsistence level farming and fishing.
Drinking and cooking water is currently a primary concern. The government of FSM is responding by sending ships with water to assist. Unfortunately, unlike Guam or Saipan, US government agency like FEMA is not available in the FSM.
As a response to this request Bishop Ryan P. Jimenez has asked all parishes in the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa to take up a second collection this First Sunday of Lent.
There will also be a collection of canned goods, rice, tools, 5-gallon water containers; seeds for planting (e.g. cucumber, watermelon), toiletries etc. held at the fishing base on the following dates: March 23rd and 30th; and April 6 and 7th.
A container from Matson will be provided to transport these items to these remote islands. This is being coordinated by local leaders of the Carolines living on Saipan and the CNMI Department of Cultural and Community Affairs.