BOPHA Catastrophe Relief Committee Final Report


Our GOAL is to RESTORE what was lost REPAIR what was damaged so as to allow the people of Palau to REBUILD their lives and return to normalcy.

Super Typhoon Bopha (Bopha) began as a tropical storm South of Chuuk Islands. The storm was tracked by the Palau National Emergency Office (NEMO) for a number of days. Starting 27 November to 02 December NEMO issued more than 10 detailed public announcements warning residents of the typhoon.

Bopha arrived in Palau as a category 5 on the 2nd of December 2012 (Sunday) at eleven o’clock in the evening. Its eye was located at latitude N6’36’ longitude E133’54, 22 miles south south west of Angaur with wind speed of 155-190 miles per hour towards west north west at 16 miles per hour. The typhoon came with storm surge at 18 feet and sea wave height at 52 feet.

On the early morning of 3rd December 2012 Super Typhoon Bopha passed south of the islands of Palau as a Category 5 Tropical Cyclone. The east coast of Babeldaob, namely Ngaraard, Ngiwal, Melekeok, and Ngchesar, as well as the islands of Peleliu and Angaur, sustained extensive damage from sea waves that came with the typhoon, while other states sustained minor to no damage.

Due to early public announcements, recommended precautionary measures were taken by residents to evacuate to any of the designated 45 shelters and boarded-up their homes and businesses. Fortunately there were no casualties after the typhoon.

By noon of 3rd of December 2012, President Johnson Toribiong consulted the entire leadership of Palau and based on the preliminary damage assessment by NEMO and recommendations from the members of the National Emergency Committee (NEC), declared a State of Emergency on 4th of December 2012, attached as Appendix 1. The Olbiil Era Kelulau (Palau National Congress) subsequently confirmed the declaration. The President Johnson Toribiong further enacted into law Super Typhoon Bopha Emergency Funding Act (RPPL No. 8-52), attached as Appendix 2, to provide funding for Palau’s response to the damages caused by the typhoon.

On 4th of December 2012, NEMO completed and released the Initial Damage Assessment Report, attached as Appendix 3, for the east coast of Babeldaob, Angaur and Peleliu with the assistance of Peter Muller, Regional Disaster Response Advisor of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

On 5th December 2012, President Johnson Toribiong issued Executive Order No. 314, attached as Appendix 4, appointing Patrick U. Tellei as the Bopha Catastrophe Relief Coordinator to exercise the authority conferred upon the President by RPPL No. 8-52 to continue the relief efforts through the outgoing Administration of H.E. Johnson Toribiong to the incoming Administration of H.E. Tommy E. Remengesau Jr.

On 6th of December 2012, President Johnson Toribiong enacted into RPPL No. 8-53, attached as Appendix 5, amending provisions of RPPL 8-52 to exempt the actions authorized by the Act from the provisions of the Environmental Quality Protection, the Historical and Cultural Preservation Act, and from any regulations promulgated pursuant to the said act and for other purposes. BCRC however, continued to work with Environmental Quality Protection Board (EQPB) and Bureau of Cultural Affairs and issued EQPB Permits and Historical Clearance for all projects.

On 14th December 2012 RPPL No. 8-56, attached as Appendix 6, amending RPPL No. 8-52 to include additional sources of funding under Section 3 and for other related purposes.

18th January 2013 Executive Order No. 320, attached as Appendix 7, amending Executive Order No. 314 Paragraph 1 appointing Vice President Antonio Bells as the new BCRC Coordinator.

Immediately after typhoon the relief efforts have reduced the number of shelters from 45 down to 5 as of 15th December 2012. Palau Red Cross Society continued working closely with state leadership and local donors coordinating their humanitarian aid response and relief efforts to the affected states.

4th December 2012, President Johnson Toribiong with the Delegate and the Governor of Angaur, LCDR Roldan C. Mina of Joint Region Marianas, United States Navy, Al Dwyer, Principal Regional Advisor for East Asia and the Pacific, USAID/OFDA visited and assessed the damages to the State of Angaur. This resulted in immediate relief to Angaur people.

BCRC Coordinator, Dr. Patrick Tellei, organized and held its initial meeting on 5th December 2012 with all the contractors in Palau to inform them of the need to help with community rebuilding efforts.

6th December 2012, BCRC and the Contractors and relevant government agencies visited Ulimang, Ngaraard all the way to Kliis, Ngchesar and Ngarchelong State to assess damages to public infrastructures. On 7th December 2012, the BCRC Coordinator, CAT Team, PCC CRE Staff and Public Works Team, visited and assessed Peleliu and Angaur States.

After the initial assessment by NEMO, restoration project under BCRC for public infrastructures such as electricity, water, telecommunication, access to public roads, including shelters in each of the affected states were prioritized for immediate restoration. Priority was placed on clearing the access roads of Ngaraard, Ngiwal, Melekeok, Peleliu and Angaur. Private company namely Surangel & Sons donated to clear the affected states in Babeldaob. Additionally clearing efforts in Ngiwal were also supported by Ngaremlengui State Community, and extended their support to Angaur State with help of Sonsorol State Community and Hatohobei State Community. CAT Team assisted the State of Peleliu clearing efforts and transportation of water buffalo to Ngaraard State. Lastly, Public Work Road and Ground Crew assisted the State of Peleliu and Angaur State clearing efforts.

To date the following shelters are still open sheltering displaced families after the Bopha Typhoon Victims.

Open Shelters
Ngaraard: 1. Bai er a Tuich (3 Families)
Ngiwal: 1. Ngiwal Elem. School (7 Families)

Other displaced families are now living with their immediate families in their respective states.

BCRC Staff

The Office for the Bopha Catastrophe Relief Committee was setup at the Old Obliil era Kelulau and was coordinated by Dr. Tellei and staffed with the following staff from various agencies of the Government:
No. Full Name Office
1. Tchuzie Tadao
Palau Community College
2. Lulu Techur
Compact Review Officer/Office of the Environmental Response Coordination
3. Reagan Belechel
Compact Review Officer/Office of the Environmental Response Coordination
4. Jordan Malsol
Compact Review Officer/Office of the Environmental Response Coordination
5. Dina Sandei
National Emergency Management Office
6. Maylene Joshua
National Emergency Management Office
7. Yvonne Ueda
Bureau of Foreign Affairs

BCRC Weekly Meetings
Weekly BCRC meetings were held commencing second 5th of December until the 16th of January 2012, providing updates from National Emergency Management Office, Palau Red Cross Society, Palau Public Utility Corporation, Palau National Communications Corporation, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Bureau of Agriculture, Palau Visitors Authority, Bureau of Marine Resources, State Governors, Embassy of Japan, Embassy of the United States of America and other agencies. Attached as Appendix 8, is the overview of all BCRC meetings and attendance sheets for each weekly BCRC meetings. All meetings with exception of the first meeting held on 5th of December 2012 have audio recording copies filed for future reference.

BCRC Budget
In accordance to RPPL No. 8-52, BCRC set up two accounts in Bank of Guam to manage the ROP Funds and Donated Funds as follows:
1. BCRC Emergency Fund – ROP (Account No. 0110029031)
2. BCRC Relief Fund – ROP (Account No. 0110029022)

BCRC received four payments from Palau National Treasury totaling one million dollars. Contracted services for all projects and operation of BCRC where paid using the above named accounts. Attached as Appendix 9, is the letter to the Bank of Guam Management setting the aforementioned accounts. Appendix 10 provides full financial statement/report of all transactions and committed financial obligations of BCRC.

BCRC fundraising efforts towards its relief efforts were made easier as local non-profit organizations listed below doubled our efforts in fundraising toward relief efforts.

Community Relief Drives for Typhoon Bopha Victims
Palau Red Cross Society
Accepts Water , 5gal water containers, butane/kerosene, portable gas stove, kerosene lamp, lighting devices, beddings/sheets, shovels, hammers, crowbars, rakes, machetes, non-perishable foods, cooking utensils and etc. Red Cross Society also accepts monetary donations.
Contact MaryAnn Delemel at (680)4885780/5781

Koror Evangelical Church
Accepts clothing, canned goods, water & rice
Contact Arlene Alexander (680)4883151/4443

MSS PTA Relief Drive
(Maris Stella School Parents & Teachers Association)
Asking all parents, friends, and relatives to come & support typhoon victims.
Accepts monetary donations, canned foods, rice, clothing, kitchen supplies, empty boxes, and plastic containers.
Contact Peter Polloi (680)7751828/4880907 or Lisa Abraham (680)775LISA.

Palau Community College
PCC Board of Trustees Chair Bilung G. Salii & President Tellei ask all PCC faculty, staff and students to help donate to typhoon victims.

Accepts donations of canned goods, clothing and household items.
Contact OMUB Office at (680)4884070

OTV Super Typhoon Relief Drive
Accepts donations of canned goods, bottled water, toiletries, pillows, blankets and other necessities (No Cash Donations).
Contact OTV (680)4881838.

Additionally, the BCRC set up a crowd-funding site on the to allow outside donors to make direct donations towards the relief efforts. Facebook (palau.bopharelief) account was also created to allow people outside of Palau to follow BCRC progress. In addition to the facebook account, BCRC also issued a Frequently Asked Questions Flyer and disseminated locally for public information on BCRC relief efforts, copy attached as Appendix 11.

Various local businesses, groups, individuals and foreign governments and individuals made donations towards the BCRC efforts totaling $176,849.79. Attached as Appendix 12 lists all donations made to BCRC.

As mentioned above, after the initial assessment by NEMO, restoration project of under BCRC for public infrastructures such as electricity, water, telecommunication, access to public roads, including shelters in each of the affected states were prioritized for immediate restoration.

BCRC through its own assessment and close coordination with State Governors identified public infrastructure projects and created scope of work, plans and cost for each project to be contracted to local contractors. The same process was applied for residential housing units damaged during typhoon. The BCRC set the following cost for one bedroom and two bedroom unit as follows:

No.   1BR Unit             2BR Unit        1BR Unit           2BR Unit Angaur/Peleliu (only) Angaur/Peleliu (only)
1   $22,000.00         $28,000.00     $29,000.00      $35,000.00
2   $22,000.00        $28,000.00     $29,000.00      $35,000.00
3  *Additional Cost may be included in the amounts above for additional necessary cost and services provided by contractors.

Applicants were to complete Damaged Home Description Form, attached as Appendix 13, and submit to their respective State Government for review and final submission to BCRC. All applications were reviewed by Coordinator for their eligibility, however, final decision on who were to be awarded new residential housing unit came from the respective State Governors. The Ngiwal State Government collaborated with the Palau Housing Authority to oversee, manage and inspect the construction of the ten housing units to be built in Ngiwal State Public Land. Attached as Appendix 14, is the memorandum of understanding between BCRC, Palau Housing Authority and Ngiwal State Government.

All major projects namely, public infrastructure restoration, traditional infrastructures and residential rebuild and major repairs were contracted to local contractors and issued Scope of Work, Building Plans, Environmental Quality Protection Board Permit and Historical Clearance Permit and State Building Permits. Appendix 15 attached lists all ongoing and to be awarded, public infrastructure and residential housing unit projects under the BCRC relief efforts.

Upon completion of the residential housing unit rebuilding projects individuals awarded residential housing unit will be required to sign a contract, attached as Appendix 16 (draft only). It was recommended by the Coordinator Dr. Tellei that individuals awarded a housing unit will be evaluated for their financial status and assigned payment schedule based on their income. Payments for the residential housing unit projects were envisioned to be deposited into a National Emergency Fund Account to be setup later by the Ministry of Finance for National Emergency related events in the future.

 Ministry of Finance to set a separate account for National Emergency to manage all the incoming payments from the awarded residential housing unit.
 Seeking assistance from Regional and International Organizations related to food security to assist in restoring the affected taro patches in all the affected states.
 National Emergency Management Office to compile and complete a comprehensive damage assessment of Typhoon Bopha.
 BCRC to seek additional assistance toward rebuilding and repairing the remaining projects to be awarded.
 BCRC to finalize the drafted Residential Housing Unit Award Criteria and Conditions including Agreement.

List of Appendices
Appendix No.
Appendix Name
Appendix 1 Super Typhoon Bopha Declaration of a State of Emergency, 4 Dec 2012
Appendix 2 RPPL No. 8-52 – Super Typhoon Bopha Emergency Funding Act
Appendix 3 NEMO Initial Damage Assessment Results
Appendix 4 Executive Order No. 314 – Appointing Patrick U. Tellei as the President Designee to Exercise the Authority Conferred Upon the President by RPPL No. 8-52.
Appendix 5 RPPL No. 8-53 – Amendment to RPPL 8-52 Sections 8 and 9
Appendix 6
RPPL No. 8-56 – Amendment to RPPL 8-52 Sections 3
Appendix 7 Executive Order No. 320 – To amend Executive Order No. 314 to designate the Chairman of the standing NEC, the Vice President of the Republic of Palau Antonio Bells, as the BCRC Coordinator
Appendix 8 BCRC Meetings Overview
Appendix 9 Letter to Bank of Guam – Super Typhoon Bopha Emergency Funding Account
Appendix 10 BCRC Financial Statement/Report
Appendix 11 Frequently Asked Questions About Super Typhoon Bopha Flyer
Appendix 12 List of All Donations to BCRC
Appendix 13 Damaged Home Description Form (Form 1A)
Appendix 14 Memorandum of Understanding between BCRC, Ngiwal State Government and Palau Housing Authority
Appendix 15 List of All BCRC Public Infrastructure and Residential Projects
Appendix 16 BCRC Hand-over Contract (draft only)
Appendix 17 Summary List of All Residential Projects and States Listing
Appendix 18 Residential Housing Unit – 1 Bedroom Design and Scope
Appendix 19 Residential Housing Unit – 2 Bedroom Design and Scope
Appendix 20 Primary Cooking Area – Designs
Appendix 21 Rapid coral reef damage assessment from Super Typhoon Bopha – PICRC
Appendix 22 Taro and Prak Damage Assessment Due to Typhoon Bopha – PCC CRE & BPOA
Appendix 23 Koror State Government Detailed Assessment of Damages from Typhoon Bopha
Appendix 24 Kayangel State Typhoon Bopha Assessment Report
Appendix 25 Peleliu State – Initial Post Event Assessment
Appendix 26 Ngardmau State Government Damage Assessment
Appendix 27 Red Cross Society – Rapid Assessment Report
Appendix 28 Angaur State Summery Report on Typhoon Bopha
Appendix 29 Aimeliik State Damage Report
Appendix 30 Damage Assessment of Cultural Resources in the Republic of Palau
Appendix 31 All Contract Template Copies
Appendix 32 Letter to President Remengesau & Response from President Johnson Toribiong
Appendix 33 Photo of Damages by Typhoon Bopha and Projects


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