MANILA, Philippines – Public storm signals across Luzon were lowered Monday afternoon as super typhoon Juan (international name Megi) lost strength after slamming into the Sierra Madre mountain range, weather bureau PAGASA said on Monday afternoon.
The typhoon, however, remained a serious threat to lives and properties, as it still packs maximum winds of 180 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of 215 kph, according to PAGASA.
Cagayan, Isabela, Kalinga, Mountain Province, and Ifugao are no longer under a storm signal number 4 category, state weather forecasters said in a 5:00 p.m. briefing.
The provinces, which will still experience 100-185 kph winds, were placed under storm signal number 3 alongside Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Benguet, Apayao, Abra, Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, and La Union.
Signal 2 remained hoisted over Batanes, the Babuyan group of islands, the Calayan group, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, Aurora, and Tarlac.
Metro Manila, Batangas, Zambales, Pampanga, Bataan, Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, Northern Quezon, and Polillo Island, are still under storm signal number 1.
The typhoon dumped 54 millimeters of rain in Tuguegarao City, 17 mm in Aparri, 28 mm in Baguio City, and 10 mm in Baler, Aurora, PAGASA said.
However, its rainwater has yet to fill up dams in the region, the agency added.
The water level of Magat, Pantabangan, Angat, and San Roque dams remained below normal levels.
Strongest typhoon for 2010
Juan is the world's strongest typhoon of the year so far, according to website Accuweather.com.
It packed maximum winds of 225 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 260 kph on Sunday night before making landfall over Luzon.
As of posting, the typhoon was traversing the mountainous terrain of Cordillera and will exit along the western coast of La Union-Ilocos Sur area between 11:00 p.m. Monday night to 1:00 a.m. Tuesday morning, PAGASA said.
Juan made landfall at Sierra Madre’s Mt. Estagno Point at Divilacan Peak at 11:25 a.m.
It was located 60 kilometers southwest of Tuguegarao City and was travelling west-southwest at 19 kph as of 4:00 p.m.
Residents living in low-lying and mountainous areas under public storm warning signals are alerted against possible flashfloods and landslides, the state weather agency said.
It warned residents in coastal areas under signals number 3 and 2 to remain alert for possible storm surges.
PAGASA will issue its next bulletin at 11:00 p.m.
For more 'Juan' updates, go to the Weather section