MADISON, Wis. (10/1/09)--The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) has not received any reports from the field about credit unions in several nations and territories hard-hit by earthquakes, tsunamis and Typhoon Ketsana along the Pacific Rim Tuesday and Wednesday. The countries, some of which have areas of widespread damage and climbing death tolls, are:
* Sumatra, an Indonesian island hit by an 7.6 earthquake, killing at least 75 people and trapping thousands. Padang, a city of 900,000 people, is on one of the most active fault lines where the Indo-Australia tectonic plate grinds against the Eurasia plate (Reuters Sept. 30); * The Samoa Islands--Samoa and American Samoa--hit by a tsunami with four waves, each 15 to 20 feet high. The death toll stood at 119 people, with dozens more missing. The tsunami caused a tsunami advisory along the West Coast of the United States, but the impact was uneventful(The New York Times and Los Angeles Times (Oct. 1). *Tonga, south of the Samoas--Six people were confirmed dead and four were missing. * Vietnam, hit by Typhoon Ketsana, confirmed at least 41 deaths from flash floods and mudslides. Hardest hit were the provinces of Quang Nam, Thu Tien Hue and Quang Tri, with four other provinces also affected, said the government. * Cambodia, hit by the typhoon, has 11 confirmed dead. * Philippines, hit by Typhoon Ketsana, confirmed at least 246 deaths and 2.3 million people with flooded homes. More storms were heading toward the Philippines Wednesday.
According to WOCCU's 2008 Statistical Report, Vietnam has 1,015 credit unions, and Indonesia has 950. Any credit unions in Sumatra are counted in the Indonesia total. Figures for Samoan Islands were not available, said WOCCU spokesman Michael Muckian. Cambodia has 80 credit unions, Tonga has 63, and the Philippines, 1,278. None have reported damages so far.