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Disasters, Conflicts and Migration

Natural Disasters



Comments / Details



Affected as part of the Pacific drought between 2015-2017.


YesEarth tremors- No earthquakes have caused any significant damage in the last 2 decades



Dengue Outbreak - Oct 2016

Influenza A (H1N1) Pandemic - Apr 2009

Extreme Temperatures



YesIsolated usually coincides with King tide

Insect Infestation



YesChuuk state Piis Paneau Mudslide 2002

Volcanic Eruptions


High Waves / Surges

YesSevere Sea Swell Floods – Dec 2017 southern outer islands and in Dec 2008



High Winds

YesTropical Cyclones

Other Comments


Man-Made Issues

Civil Strife



International Conflict


Internally Displaced Persons


Refugees Present


Landmines / UXO Present


Other Comments


For a more detailed database on disasters by country, please see the Centre for Research on Epidemiology of Disasters Country Profile

Seasonal Effects on Logistics Capacities

Seasonal Effects on Transport

Transport Type

Time Frame

Comments / Details

Primary Road Transport

Nov - Apr

Cyclone season can affect island roads or access tracks where causeways have been constructed to allow travel between and around islands. During the Cyclone season high winds associated with high seas and especially king tides can affect causeway access and have caused damage especially on atolls. This damage often results in roads as limited as they are being impassable  

Secondary Road Transport


Rail Transport


Air Transport

YesStorm and Cyclone season can affect affects scheduled flights however these are mostly between the 4 main states capital services by larger aircraft. Most Islands are not serviced by air 

Waterway Transport

YesInter island transport from Pohnpei and other state capital forms the critical supply link to the outer islands. During the Storm season, November to April, Interisland transport is affected by high seas which will delay deliveries to Islands. All Atolls, having a lagoon can, in almost all cases receive vessels for resupply assuming reef depth is sufficient

Seasonal Effects on Storage and Handling

Activity Type

Time Frame

Comments / Details


All year

The climate in FSM is hot and humid with the Island of Pohnpei central and southern island receiving the most rainfall. The northern islands tend to be drier. Climate influences do not severely affect the storage of local goods  


All yearCyclone season occurs during this time and although cyclones are not as prevalent in the NE Pacific High Seas with the increase in the easterly trade winds can cause issues with interisland transport. Wetter weather can cause handling issues especially in exposed dock areas and transhipment of goods to smaller tenders when in the Outer Islands.



Capacity and Contacts for In-Country Emergency Response


Emergency response operates nationally through the Department of Environment Climate Emergency Management (DECEM) in Palikir. Disaster coordination offices are present in each of the state capitals and have designated Disaster coordination Officers. (DCO) While recently established DECEM provides the coordination and framework for Emergency response. The DCO at state level coordinates operational response in their respective regions. The cluster structure has not been fully established although at time of writing the Logistics Cluster structure was being implemented at DECEM. Outside major emergency responses DECEM and DCO are responsible for coordinating Sea Search and Rescue Operations in conjunction with US Coast guard based in Guam in the case of an Eperb response signal.   

FSM Government relies significantly on international assistance during normal times and emergency situations. While DECEM is recognised as the emergency response structure mechanism nationally, state disaster coordination offices are in a capacity development phase and will need to be provided support to develop into a more effective responses at state level. FSM will continue to rely on outside sources in the case of larger emergencies. I.e. IOM in the recent rehabilitation program. Due to a limitation of resources, established businesses operating in the states capitals often assist small vulnerable groups where possible.

The US Coast Guard provides air surveillance aircraft for Search and rescue but military involvement  in disaster response has been minimal and adhoc. Military (external) response assistance is not a part of any response planning and there are no formal frameworks.

The Compact as the legal framework seemingly prevents assistance by US military to respond. As documented FEMA provide funding for disaster response which is channelled through USAID. USAID implementing partners IOM provide the response mechanism on the ground

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