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Sierra Madre: Protector of Luzon vs typhoons

The past few days had seen the country, especially Luzon, being hit by Typhoon Karding (international name: Nuro) which had wind speeds of up to 285 kilometers per hour.

But the relatively minor damage of the typhoon in Luzon was surprising especially since certain areas directly under the super typhoon’s path had been placed under the Typhoon Signal Number 5.

So, what gives? Why the relatively slight damage in areas that were expected to be ravaged by the storm?

Thank the Sierra Madre Mountain Range, the longest mountain range of the country and the so-called backbone of Luzon.

Apparently, Sierra Madre had provided a protective barrier against the strong winds, so that the nation’s capital and its neighboring areas — which were right smack in the middle of Karding’s path — suffered only minor damages.

Flip Science, in its website said that the range, which covers Luzon’s northeast coast, had been serving as a “natural shield against Pacific typhoons”.

Not surprising since the massive range stretches across roughly 1.4 million hectares of land, and spans 10 provinces and is s about 500 km in length, Flip Science said.

World Wildlife Foundation Philippines, in its Facebook page said: “The Sierra Madre is the longest mountain range in the Philippines and plays a very important role by acting as a natural shield against typhoons and floods coming from the Pacific Ocean. With the rising sea levels, it is more than vital that we protect the Sierra Madre and all the forests in the country!”

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