There was tragic news this weekend which featured news accounts, pictures and video of the devastating effects of two separate typhoons that struck eastern Asia.  Typhoon Morakot struck both Taiwan and the mainland of China, resulting in the loss of human life, with hundreds still unaccounted for.  News reports indicate that the typhoon dumped more rain on Taiwan than any other 48 hour period since records began 100 years ago.  Over 80 inches of rain fell on some parts of the island, with Alishan in southern Chiayi County reporting that 118 inches of rain fell over a 3 day period. 

The storm weakened to a tropical storm status when it made landfall in mainland China, but according to The China Daily, has impacted more than 8.8 million people in three provinces.  The storm has toppled more than 6000 houses and inundated over 387,000 hectares of farmland. Direct economic losses have initially been estimated at $1.3 billion USD. China’s National Meteorological Center predicts violent rainstorms to continue in the southern region on Monday.  The impacted regions on mainland China supply much agricultural products including rice and tea, as well as providing manufacturing activities in certain industries. 

A separate storm, Typhoon Etau has slammed into the west coast of Japan with 13 people reported killed, and ten others missing. Authorities thus far have evacuated 47,000 persons. Transportation has already been disrupted including the closing of highways and suspension of rail lines in the impacted regions.

The effects of both typhoons are obviously still evolving as government and rescue agencies continue to deal with the ongoing effects of the storm on people, property and commerce.  Transportation to and from the impacted regions continues to be interrupted. 

Taiwan is a major area of high tech electronics and semiconductor manufacturing, and supply chain risk mitigation teams residing in these sectors should be mobilized to begin assessment of the storm and its impacts on supply or production, if any. 

In the coming days, teams should know more about the overall impacts to industry supply chains but from all of the initial reports, my sense is that supply chain impacts will be inevitable.

 Bob Ferrari