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Thursday, 4 July, 2002, 06:56 GMT 07:56 UK
Dozens killed in Pacific storm
A desperate search for survivors is underway on a Micronesian atoll after a typhoon triggered landslides which wiped out entire families.

Typhoon Chata'an struck Chuuk, one of the four states in Micronesia, on Tuesday.


Whole families are just left with one or two people

John Sound, Disaster Office official
An official from the Chuuk Disaster Office told AFP news agency there were 31 confirmed deaths.

About 100 people are reported to have been injured.

The US territory of Guam, in the Pacific, is now preparing for Chata'an to hit it sometime on Friday.

Help needed

Many of the deaths known about on Chuuk were on the island of Tonoa, disaster official John Sound said.

"Whole families are just left with one or two people," he said.

"It is a very bad time in Chuuk, there is a lot of suffering and a lot of pain."

But he said there could be worse to come.

"We are still searching," he said. "We are expecting many more.

"We have not been able to reach the outer islands yet."

Survivors are in dire need of food, water and medical supplies. No outside help has reached them.

Many of the seriously injured are unable to receive the medical treatment they need, Mr Sound said.

Meanwhile residents in Guam have cancelled 4 July independence day celebrations and are stocking up on supplies ahead of the typhoon.

The US Joint Typhoon Warning Center says seas of about five metres (18 foot) with winds gusting to 194 kilometres per hour (105 knots) are expected.

The Federated States of Micronesia are made up of more than 600 islands located between Guam and Honolulu.

See also:

27 Jul 01 | Country profiles
04 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
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