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NASA rainfall analysis of Typhoon Koppu’s impact on The Philippines

The impact of Typhoon Koppu has caused deadly consequences for The Philippines. Flooding and mudslides have been triggered by its heavy rainfall. This is leaving people vulnerable to Koppu, even after it has left.

Typhoon Koppu first made landfall the coast of Luzon on 18 October.  It was categorized as a category 4 hurricane with winds at excess of 240 km/h. The path of the storm headed northward until it veered east on the 20 October. On 21 October, the storm weakened to depression and continued its path away from The Philippines.

Much of the island of Luzon was greatly impacted by its damage. Koppu had the power to uproot trees and damage buildings in its path. The typhoon affected at least 49,096 families or 244,921 individuals along its path.

Yet, Typhoon Koppu’s winds were not its most destructive aspect. The extremely heavy rainfall has caused greater consequences to the country. It has caused flooding and mudslides to areas with poor infrastructure, leaving some communities displaced. The rainfall even spurred flooding in the capital city, Manila.

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, located in the United States, performed a rainfall analysis to further study the impact of these heavy rains.

To do this, they used their own Integrated Multi-Satellite Retrievals for Global Precipitation Measurement (IMERG) data. This rainfall data is a product of the Global Precipitation Measurement mission. Their system works to pull precipitation estimates from microwave and infrared sensors of various satellites. It will also consider monthly surface precipitation gauge data to provide estimates between 60 degrees North and South latitude.

The system showed that most of Luzon island received over 300 mm of rainfall. Some parts were hit with over 760 mm of rainfall. It previously captured rain falling at a rate of over 133 mm per hour which was rapidly increasing, while the thunderstorms were just a few days from landfall at Luzon.

The consequences cost over USD$2.2 billion in damages, affected more than 230,000 people, and took the lives of at least 17 people. The great damage done by Typhoon Koppu is not a rare event for the country as it aims to gear up its emergency preparedness measures and mechanisms.

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