Speed, Sierra Madre dulled Karding's power: meteorologist


Posted at Sep 26 2022 11:30 AM | Updated as of Sep 26 2022 03:00 PM

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The Sierra Madre mountain range of Rizal. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
The Sierra Madre mountain range of Rizal. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

The destructive power of super typhoon Karding (international name: Noru) in the Philippines was lessened by 2 factors: its speed and the Sierra Madre, a meteorologist said Monday. 

ABS-CBN News resident meteorologist Ariel Rojas said Karding showed explosive intensification while at sea Saturday night, turning it into a super typhoon before it hit land. 

Rojas said the typhoon's rainband decreased once it hit the Sierra Madre, the longest mountain range in the Philippines. 

"When the storm passed the Sierra Madre in the Nueva Ecija area, parang lumiit yung blob - kung san naka-concentrate yung malakas na pag-ulan," he said in a TeleRadyo interview. 

(When the storm passed the Sierra Madre in the Nueva Ecija area, the blob where the heavy rains are concentrated shrank.) 

He added that the typhoon's interaction with land has a weakening effect due to disruption of wind circulation.

The Sierra Madre was a trending topic on Twitter over the weekend, with many social media users pointing out how the mountain range had again served as a natural shield against typhoons and floods coming from the Pacific Ocean.

Rojas said Karding also moved at 20 kilometers across Central Luzon, which was relatively fast for a typhoon. 

"Ang Central Luzon mabilis siyang tawirin kasi walang bundok. Pagkatawid ng Sierra Madre, dere-derecho na siya. Mas bumilis pa siya nung nasa dagat, 30 kph," he said.

(Central Luzon is easy to cross because it has no mountains. After passing through Sierra Madre, it went straight and further accelerated once it reached the sea, at around 30 kph.) 

On Sept. 26, after Karding ripped through parts of Luzon, environmental advocacy groups encouraged the public to take part in efforts to save the Sierra Madre from deforestation. 

In 2012, then-President Benigno S. Aquino III declared Sept. 26 the Save Sierra Madre Day, to remember the flood from Typhoon Ondoy in 2009, which was attributed to the deforestation and destruction of the Sierra Madre.

"The Climate Change Commission (CCC) encourages everyone to participate in activities geared toward the conservation of the Sierra Madre, which include reforestation activities and campaigning against unsustainable projects that threaten the mountain rage," Philippine Parks and Biodiversity said in a Facebook post.


Rojas said 2 or 3 storms could enter the Philippine area of responsibility in October with another 1 or 2 each in November and December. 

He said authorities must prepare for storms in the last quarter of the year since these usually hit land and pass through Central or Southern Luzon, the Visayas, and Northern Mindanao.