Ruthlessly exhaling its anger on the population at the start of the week, Super Typhoon Karding punched Luzon with fierce winds and heavy rain which forced hundreds of people on the eastern seaboard to flee their homes.
The weather disturbance packed maximum sustained winds of 195 kilometers an hour, on the heels of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s return home from a six-day official visit to the United States, high in the hope there would soon be a rebound in the domestic economy.
Karding, the strongest typhoon to hit the country this year, hit land on Quezon’s Polillo islands at half past five Sunday, 20 minutes before sundown, and quickly moved westward, pummeling the Sierra Madre-shielded Quezon province and Cagayan Valley, the Bicol Region including Metro Manila and the nearby provinces.
If this was any indication of Karding’s ruthlessness, videos posted on social media and officially verified by the military showed images of trees busted up by strong winds after swaying wildly in parts of Quezon and other provinces.
Residents in Quezon, Aurora and even those in low-lying areas of the metropolis were forced to evacuate from their homes for temporary shelters on higher ground.
But as the typhoon barreled through the country’s heavily populated Luzon island, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, through its field offices in Luzon, was prompt, if impulsive, in extending government assistance to those affected.
This, after DSWD Secretary Erwin Tulfo met the concerned DSWD Regional Directors in Northern, Central, and Southern Luzon; Cagayan Valley, Cordillera Administrative Region, Bicol Region, and National Capital Region.
During the meeting, the Directors reported to the Secretary their Field Offices’ preparedness efforts including their available standby funds and stockpiles of food and non-food items, as well as prepositioned goods in the different LGUs along Karding’s monitored path.
It is good that the FOs assured Secretary Tulfo they were ready and have strategically prepositioned adequate food and non-food items (FNIs) for immediate distribution to the areas affected by the super typhoon.
We are sure the ready response is deeply appreciated by those on the typhoon’s trackway – although the off-color weather quickly stormed out of Luzon as speedily as it marched in the day before, forcing suspension of classes and work hours in offices in the affected areas, cancellation of incoming and outgoing flight, and affecting an estimated 1.7 million hectares of crops in Luzon.