MANILA — Typhoon Karding (international name: Noru) slightly weakened as it moved further away from the landmass of Luzon on Monday, state weather bureau PAGASA said.
The strongest storm to hit the country this year dumped heavy rain and unleashed fierce winds as it swept across Luzon on Sunday, toppling trees and flooding low-lying communities.
Karding was 230 kilometers west of Dagupan City, Pangasinan at 10 a.m, packing maximum sustained winds of 130 kilometers per hour near the center and up to 150 kph gusts, said PAGASA.
In its 11 a.m. bulletin, the weather agency said Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal Number 1 is still in effect in the following areas.
- Central and western portions of Pangasinan (Santa Barbara, Bayambang, Mangaldan, Dagupan City, Calasiao, San Carlos City, Basista, Urbiztondo, Mangatarem, Aguilar, Bugallon, Binmaley, Lingayen, Labrador, Sual, City of Alaminos, Bolinao, Anda, Bani, Agno, Burgos, Mabini, Dasol, Infanta, Malasiqui, Alcala, Bautista)
- Western portion of Tarlac (Camiling, San Clemente, Santa Ignacia, San Jose, Mayantoc, Capas, Bamban)
- Northwestern portion of Pampanga (Mabalacat City, Angeles City, Porac, Floridablanca)
Zambales, Bataan, Lubang Islands, and the western portion of Pangansinan may experience light to moderate with at times heavy rains until Monday afternoon, PAGASA said.
Under these conditions, scattered flooding and rain-induced landslides are still possible, it added.
Moving west northwest at 30 kph, Karding is expected to leave the Philippine area of responsibility on Monday night. It is forecast to re-intensify on Tuesday morning as it moves over the West Philippine Sea.
Authorities on Monday said 5 rescuers were killed in Bulacan, the first confirmed casualties of Karding.
The Philippines is regularly ravaged by storms, with scientists warning they are becoming more powerful as the world gets warmer because of climate change.
Karding made landfall about 100 kilometers northeast of the densely populated capital Manila, before weakening to a typhoon as it crossed a mountain range, coconut plantations and rice fields.
Nearly 75,000 people were evacuated from their homes before the storm hit, as PAGASA warned heavy rain could cause "serious flooding" in vulnerable areas, trigger landslides and destroy crops.
But on Monday morning there was no sign of the widespread devastation many had feared.
The Philippines -- ranked among the most vulnerable nations to the impacts of climate change -- is hit by an average of 20 storms every year.
— With a report from Agence France-Presse