Oleochem Analytics – Several cities of the Philippines, the world’s largest coconut oil producer and exporter, have been under heavy rainfall and flood warnings since September 6 as typhoons Jolina and Kiko moved across the country, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).
Although both typhoons have already left the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR), several communities remain flooded and without power after the strong typhoons battered the Philippines’ northernmost island, authorities said on September 12.
According to PAGASA, the low pressure area east of Surigao del Norte developed into a Tropical Depression and was named “Jolina” on September 6. Jolina rapidly intensified into a typhoon making five landfalls – the latest in Dimasalang, Masbate on September 7, until it weakened into a severe tropical storm. Jolina moved across the Philippines and subsequently re-intensified into a Severe Tropical Storm over the West Philippine Sea.
Meanwhile, ‘Kiko’ entered the PAR on September 7 and rapidly intensified into a typhoon moving west and northward over the sea east of Taiwan on September 12, with maximum wind speeds of up to 233 km/hour according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.
Despite exiting the country’s area of responsibility, Kiko is expected to continue enhancing the southwest monsoon, which will dump rains in Batanes, Babuyan Islands, the Ilocos Region, Cordillera, and the western section of Central Luzon at the start of this week.
According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) in the Philippines, the storms affected a total of 12,213 people from 2,753 families across the provinces of Albay, Antique, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Masbate, Negros Occidental, Samar and Sorsogon.
As of September 8, more than 10,000 people had been displaced, with around 8,000 staying in evacuation centers and others with family or friends. Several roads and houses were also damaged, the NDRRMC reported.
Similar typhoons were seen in the Philippines during the last two months of 2020. Typhoons Rolly, Quinta, and Ulysses battered mainly Quezon and Bicol provinces.
Preliminary data from the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) shows 48.6 million trees were damaged by the three typhoons, of which 33.79 million were moderately damaged, 14.23 million heavily damaged, and 581,000 totally damaged.
According to the PCA, moderately damaged trees lose about 30% of mature coconuts due to nut fall and may recover after 6 months at the earliest. Heavily damaged trees have about 50% immature nut fall and may recover after 2 to 3 years, while totally damaged trees have no chance of recovery due to their crowns being destroyed.