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Spratly Islands military occupations map
Loaita Island, also known as Tagalog: Kota Island, Chinese: 南鑰島; pinyin: Nanyue Dao, and Vietnamese: Đảo Loại Ta, with an area of 6.45 hectares (15.9 acres), is the tenth largest Spratly island, and the fifth largest of the Philippine-occupied islands. Located at , it is 22 miles (35 km) southeast of Philippine-occupied Thitu Island (Pagasa Island) and 22 miles (35 km) north-northeast of Taiwan-occupied Itu Aba Island. The island is administered by the Philippines as part of Kalayaan, Palawan. Kota is a Philippine word for a fort.
Loaita fringes the Loaita bank and reef. Its calcarenite outcrop is visible along its western side at low tide. The present shape of the island indicates sand buildup along its eastern side. The anchor-shaped side will eventually connect with the northern portion as the sand buildup continues, thereby creating another mini-lagoon in the process. The presence of migrating sea birds adds to the high phosphorus content of the island's sand. Occasionally, giant sea turtles lay their eggs on the island. The island is covered with mangrove bushes, above which rise coconut palms and other small trees.
Several Philippine soldiers have been stationed on the island since 1968 when the Philippines occupied it. There are only a few structures, which serve as shelters for the soldiers.
The soldiers also guard the nearby Lankiam Cay (Panata Island) which lies 8 miles (13 km) to the northeast. The cay is under observation from a tall structure on the island, and they also regularly visit it.
Loaita Nan and Loaita Cay, which are distinct from Kota Island, lie 5 miles (8 km) northwest and 1.5 miles (2 km) south-northeast. These are unoccupied features, but are also largely controlled by the Philippines.
- Spratly Islands
- List of maritime features in the Spratly Islands
- Kalayaan, Palawan
- Policies, activities and history of the Philippines in Spratly Islands