Citing initial data, OCD says number of people affected by 'Karding' is 'very small'

Citing initial data, OCD says number of people affected by 'Karding' is 'very small'
A family with their belongings arrive at an evacuation center in Quezon City on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, as Super Typhoon Karding (Noru) slammed into the Philippines.
AFP / Ted Aljibe

MANILA, Philippines — Though it acknowledged that much of its data was still incomplete, the Office of Civil Defense said in its latest situation report that the number of people affected by Super Typhoon Karding (international name Noru) was still "very small" as of Monday afternoon. 

At a press briefing later Monday afternoon, Assistant Secretary Bernardo Rafaelito Alejandro IV, Civil Defense spokesperson said that 5,760 persons from just 84 barangays were listed as being directly affected by the effects of the rains.

After much of the day passed with no word on casualties from the storm, Alejandro on Monday afternoon said that the OCD was still waiting on its regional offices to update their reports. 

As of this post, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council has yet to release an updated report on casualties. Asked about reports of fatalities in Burdeos town in Quezon, Alejandro said the NDRRMC would still have to check. 

Most figures given by the office were still for confirmation, Alejandro said, adding the office expects more reports to come in within the day. However, he said that Bulacan, Quezon Province, and Nueva Ecija are the hardest-hit areas by Karding.

"As we speak, reports are still coming in and we will be updating this," he said in mixed Filipino and English. "Of course, we still expect other reports to come in today from Quezon where there are initial reports that some roads and infrastructure were damaged."

The office had recorded a total value loss of P141.38 million so far in agriculture with over 16,200 hectares of land damaged by the heavy rains.

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The deaths of five rescuers have also been confirmed by local officials, though NDRRMC spokesperson Mark Timbal said in a message to reporters, though he was careful to add that the council was still waiting on other details including their identities and causes of death.

Earlier, the Department of the Interior and Local Government said that 74,542 individuals or 19,368 families were preemptively evacuated ahead of Karding's onslaught.

Alejandro said that as of Monday afternoon, that number has climbed to 78,907.

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In a separate advisory, the Philippine Coast Guard said it was monitoring a total of 1,138 passengers, drivers, and cargo helpers; 24 rolling cargoes; 3 vessels; and 35 motorbancas stranded. 

Fifty-eight vessels and nine motorbancas were also recorded taking shelter in the Southern Tagalog, National Capital Region, and Central Luzon regions.

Alejandro also echoed sentiments of national government agencies that local officials were able to prepare for the onslaught of Karding before it made landfall. 

He added that another major factor was the "awareness of the public of what should be done during calamities," saying many were willing to comply with the evacuations. 

"Every time there's a typhoon, our processes get better. This time there were many offices that implemented preparedness activities," Alejandro said in Filipino. "We have seen substantial improvement in the coordination among offices and local governments."

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