MANILA (UPDATED) - Tropical storm "Mario" (international name: "Fung-wong") has weakened, but it is still expected to dump rains over Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon Friday evening, state weather bureau PAGASA said.
In its 11 p.m. advisory, PAGASA said Mario, which made landfall over the northern tip of Cagayan earlier today, slightly slowed down while moving across the Luzon Strait.
It is packing maximum sustained winds of 75 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 90 kph.
According to PAGASA, public storm warning signal number 2 remained hoisted over Calayan and Babuyan Group of Islands, Batanes Group of Islands, Apayao, and Ilocos Norte.
Storm warning signal number 1, meanwhile, remained raised over Cagayan, Kalinga, Abra and Ilocos Sur.
In an earlier press briefing, PAGASA weather forecaster Aldczar Aurelio said the combined effect of the tropical storm and the southwest monsoon (habagat) will continue to bring moderate to heavy rains and thunderstorms over Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon. These may trigger flashfloods and landslides, he said.
Aurelio said rains in the metropolis will start to ease only by Saturday. The weather in Northern and Central Luzon, meanwhile, will gradually improve by Sunday as Mario exits the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR).
Moving west northwest at 19 kph, Mario is expected to be at 216 kilometers northwest of Itbayat, Batanes by tomorrow, and 499 kilometers north northeast of Itbayat, Batanes or outside the PAR by Sunday afternoon.
Aurelio said the tropical storm may again gain strength once it is outside the PAR and over sea.
PAGASA said Mario is bringing an estimated rainfall amount from 7 to 20 millimeters per hour (moderate to intense) within its 350-kilometer diameter.
Residents in low lying and mountainous areas are still alerted against possible flashfloods and landslides.
Fisherfolks and those with small seacrafts are also advised not to venture out over the western seaboard of Northern Luzon, and seaboards of Southern and Central Luzon and Visayas.
In its 6 p.m. advisory, PAGASA said Red rainfall alert (torrential) was raised over Bataan, Zambales, Tarlac, and Nueva Ecija.
Red rainfall alert means these areas experienced more than 30 millimeters of rain in the past hour and the downpour is expected to continue in the next two hours. Severe flooding is expected in low-lying areas.
Orange rainfall alert (intense), meanwhile, was raised over Metro Manila, Bulacan, Pampanga, Rizal, and Cavite.
These areas experienced 15 to 30 millimeters of rain in the past hour and the downpour is expected to continue in the next two hours.
Yellow rainfall alert (heavy) was hoisted over Laguna, Batangas, and Quezon.
These areas experienced 7.5 to 15 millimeters of rain in the past hour and the downpour is expected to continue in the next two hours.