THE damage caused by Super Typhoon Karding (international name: Noru) to the agriculture industry has been initially estimated at P141.38 million, which is expected to rise, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said.

In its bulletin issued midday Monday, the DA said the typhoon affected 16,229 hectares of farmland and 740 farmers and fisherfolk, leading to the loss of 5,886 metric tons (MT) of produce.

“Based on initial assessments, damage and losses have been reported in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Ilocos Region, Central Luzon and Calabarzon,” the DA said.

“Affected commodities include rice, corn and high-value crops. These values are subject to validation. Additional damage and losses are expected in areas affected by Karding,” it added.

Damage to rice was estimated at P107.6 million on volume losses of 5,877 MT. The storm affected 15,363 hectares of farmland.

Losses of high-value crops amounted to P24.55 million with volume losses estimated at 760 MT across 88 hectares of farmland.

Corn losses were valued at P9.22 million with lost volume of 10 MT of and affected farmland 776 hectares.

“The DA, through its regional field offices, is conducting assessment of damage and losses brought by Karding in the agri-fisheries sector,” according to the bulletin.

In a news conference, National Irrigation Administration (NIA) Administrator Benny D. Antiporda reported no damage to the irrigation infrastructure, citing initial reports from the agency’s field offices.

Mr. Antiporda added that Bulo Dam in Bulacan had to release water after exceeding its capacity of 76 meters.

He added that one gate of Magat Dam in Isabela was opened two days prior to the storm’s landfall to regulate the water level, while Bustos Dam in Bulacan had to release water after water levels rose to 17.08 meters, beyond its spilling level of 17 meters.

“The agency ensured that residents and all stakeholders were properly and immediately informed with the scheduled dam water release,” the NIA said in a statement, referring to the area around Bulo dam. — Revin MIkhael D. Ochave