An aerial view of Kayangel state in Palau, which experienced the eye of Typhoon Haiyan. Photo: Oceania Television Network
Australia is helping Palau recover from Typhoon Haiyan, which caused extensive damage to homes, schools, the hospital, and water and power services.
Haiyan struck Palau on the morning of 7 November before it made its way to the Philippines, where it claimed thousands of lives.
The Australian Government will provide $100,000 to the Government of Palau to help rebuild a health centre and other damaged public infrastructure, including schools, in Kayangel, Palau’s northernmost state.
Kayangel—three tiny coral atolls of about 1.4 square kilometres—sustained much of the damage caused by Typhoon Hiayan in Palau. It is a tourist destination known for its extensive bird life, nesting sites for endangered sea turtles and unique forest cover. Locals rely on the natural environment for their livelihoods, including through harvesting a large population of coconut crab.
Stormy weather and a shortage of equipment are hampering typhoon recovery efforts while the remoteness and geography of Kayangel presents an additional challenge.
'Our hearts go out to the communities affected by this terrible disaster,' said Mr Martin Quinn, Australian Ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia.
'We are working closely with the Government of Palau, and partners such as the United States, to ensure the right support is getting to the people who need it the most.'
The impact of Typhoon Haiyan was felt across 12 of Palau’s 16 states.
Fortunately, no lives were lost due to the low population of areas that experienced the eye of the storm.
The Government of Palau declared a National State of Emergency on 13 November 2013 and issued an appeal for international assistance.
The United States and Japan are also supporting early recovery efforts in Palau.