The Philippine government is set to assess the damage wrought by Typhoon Karding (international codename Noru) after it slammed into the main island of Luzon including Central Luzon.
Asec. Bernardo Rafaelito Alejandro IV, Civil Defense Deputy Administrator for Operation and Spokesperson OCD, said at least 14,000 families were preemptively evacuated before the typhoon made landfall in Polillo Island, Quezon province.
"Medyo worried kami sa damage to agriculture kasi eto nga, tinamaan yung ating major producer ng bigas, ang Central Luzon," he said in a TeleRadyo interview.
Nicknamed the Rice Granary of the Philippines, Central Luzon includes the provinces of Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales, which were all affected by the typhoon.
The Department of Agriculture earlier warned Karding could affect 1,469,037 hectares or 75.83 percent of the national standing rice crops in Luzon, according to news reports.
In Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, officials said they are worried about Karding's effect on rice crops since the typhoon struck just before harvest season.
In the interview, Alejandro said the Department of Social Welfare and Development has P600 million in standby funds for those affected by the typhoon.
The Philippines is regularly ravaged by storms, with scientists warning they are becoming more powerful as the world gets warmer because of climate change.
Karding weakened to a typhoon as it swept across central Luzon. It is expected to enter the South China Sea on Monday and head towards Vietnam.
"Typhoons are like engines -- you need a fuel and an exhaust to function," said weather forecaster Robb Gile.
"In the case of Karding, it has a good fuel because it has plenty of warm waters along its track and then there is a good exhaust in the upper level of the atmosphere -- so it's a good recipe for explosive intensification," he added, using the local name for the storm.
As of 6:00 am Monday, a total of four national road sections in the Cordillera Administrative Region, Regions 3 and 4-A are temporarily-closed to traffic due to Typhoon ‘Karding’.
The impassable roads are:
- Kennon Road in Benguet which was closed to non-residents for safety reasons
- two (2) roads in Aurora, the Nueva Ecija-Aurora Road, K0174+300 section is closed due to landslide and Concepcion - Lapaz K0131+300 due to fallen electric post
- Ternate - Nasugbu Road, K0068+(-1000) K0074+622 in Cavite which is also closed for safety reasons.
Meanwhile, due to major landslides and rockslides, the Manila North Road K0578+800 section in Sitio Banquero, Brgy. Pancian, Pagudpud has been reduced to a one-lane passable road.
DPWH Quick Response Teams have already installed warning signs and barricades along affected road sections. A clearing operation is also ongoing along sections that are deemed safe.
With Agence France-Presse