Overall Crime and Safety Situation
U.S. Embassy Kolonia does not assume responsibility for the professional ability or integrity of the persons or firms appearing in this report. The American Citizens Services (ACS) Unit cannot recommend a particular individual or establishment and assumes no responsibility for the quality of service provided.
THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE HAS ASSESSED KOLONIA AS BEING A MEDIUM-THREAT LOCATION FOR CRIME DIRECTED AT OR AFFECTING OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT INTERESTS.
Please review OSAC’s Micronesia-specific webpage for proprietary analytic reports, Consular Messages, and contact information.
Non-confrontational property crimes (home break-ins) are the most common crimes likely to affect U.S. citizens residing in or traveling to the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). The island of Chuuk experiences more crime than the other three islands; the RSO recommends travelers to the island stay in after nightfall.
Traveling on foot after dark in the FSM can be dangerous due to the lack of sidewalks, poor lighting on roads, and inebriated drivers.
Road Safety and Road Conditions
Traffic in the FSM can be unpredictable. Road conditions can vary substantially, from paved and well maintained roads to dirt tracks. Motorists must take special care to be cognizant of other drivers, who may not obey traffic signals/signs or stay in their lane. The traffic infrastructure in the FSM is less developed than in the U.S., and signage or warnings of ongoing road works are rare.
Public Transportation Conditions
Embassy personnel are allowed to use taxis and other public transportation in FSM. RSO encourages travelers to have their hotel or business call a taxi for them and ensure the destination is known; hailing taxis off the street is not advised. The Regional Security Office recommends travelers use taxis for transportation after dark.
THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE HAS ASSESSED KOLONIA AS BEING A LOW-THREAT LOCATION FOR TERRORIST ACTIVITY DIRECTED AT OR AFFECTING OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT INTERESTS.
Political, Economic, Religious, and Ethnic Violence
THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE HAS ASSESSED KOLONIA AS BEING A LOW-THREAT LOCATION FOR POLITICAL VIOLENCE DIRECTED AT OR AFFECTING OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT INTERESTS.
Demonstrations are rare. There was one non-violent demonstration held near the U.S. Embassy in 2010.
The FSM faces an array of natural disasters (tsunamis, typhoons, floods, mudslides, earthquakes). A slight rise in sea level can flood many of the 600 islands and atolls that make up the FSM.
Typhoons are a common occurrence, and the peak season is August-November. Yap and Chuuk States have historically experienced more typhoons and tropical storms, but Pohnpei and Kosrae States can also be affected. Travelers should monitor the weather closely during typhoon season and should depart the FSM if their island is likely to be affected by a typhoon.
Internet connectivity problems are common and can prevent credit card transactions even when businesses are willing to accept them.
The FSM uses the U.S. dollar as its currency. Travelers should bring sufficient cash or cash equivalents for their stay. Some businesses or hotels will not accept credit cards.
Personal Identity Concerns
Women traveling alone on roads have been targeted for crime.
Alcohol abuse is common and can lead to crimes (assault, domestic violence, vandalism).
The capacity of local police to sufficiently respond and assist victims of crime and traffic accidents is limited due to a lack of response vehicles, radios, and other essential equipment.
It is important that foreigners remain calm and polite when interacting with the police to avoid misunderstandings.
How to Handle Incidents of Police Detention or Harassment
In the event of arrest or detention by the police, contact the U.S. Embassy at (691) 320-2187 during regular business hours or at (691) 920- 2369 to reach the emergency duty officer after-hours and on holidays.
Crime Victim Assistance
All incidents of crime should be reported to the local authorities:
Health problems may be exacerbated by overseas travel and may require a level of medical care that is not available in the FSM.
Travelers are advised to bring a sufficient supply of any needed medications as they will be difficult, if not impossible, to acquire locally. For more information, please refer to OSAC’s Report, “Traveling with Medications.”
Health care facilities consist of state-run hospitals on each of the four major islands and a few scattered clinics. These facilities lack advanced supplies and medicines, and the quality of health care is low. Doctors and hospitals expect immediate cash payment for health services.
Contact Information for Available Medical Services
Pohnpei, tel: 320-2213
Chuuk, tel: 330-2444
Kosrae, tel: 370-3012
Yap, tel: 350-2110
Genesis Hospital in Pohnpei, tel: 320-2525
Available Air Ambulance Services
Medical evacuation assistance for non-ambulatory patients will take a minimum of 12 hours to arrive and can be expensive. There are no daily commercial flights, and flights often sell out, so finding last-minute seats is difficult.
Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the U.S. can cost several thousands of dollars.
Country-specific Vaccination and Health Guidance
Travelers should drink bottled water while in the FSM. For more information, please refer to OSAC’s Report, “I’m Drinking What in My Water?.”
The State Department's Regional Medical Officer recommends that visitors to the FSM ensure that their Tetanus/Diphtheria (TD), Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR), Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Polio vaccinations are up to date.
The CDC offers additional information on vaccines and health guidance for Micronesia.
U.S. Embassy Location and Contact Information
Embassy Address and Hours of Operation
U.S. Embassy in Kolonia
1286 U.S. Embassy Place, Pohnpei (near the movie theater)
Kolonia, Federated States of Micronesia
Hours: Mon-Fri, 0800-1700 (except local and U.S. holidays)
Embassy Contact Numbers
Telephone: +691 320-2187
Emergency after-hours: +691 920-2369
The State Department encourages all travelers to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). This provides travel advisories from the U.S. Embassy Majuro and the State Department
The FSM is a member of the Freely Associated States, so nationals of the FSM can travel to the United States without applying for a visa.
Micronesia Information Sheet