Posted: Oct 23, 2009 2:55 PM by Associated Press
Typhoon Lupit weakened into a tropical storm Friday after zigzagging around the rain-soaked northern Philippines and living up to its name - meaning cruel in Filipino - by keeping weary residents on edge and forecasters guessing.
The third successive storm in a month has been hovering for several days near the coast and inland mountains, sending thousands to seek shelter following two back-to-back typhoons that killed nearly 1,000 people, most of them buried in dozens of mudslides.
Lupit's erratic direction baffled forecasters and frustrated the local media who kept predicting its landfall every day. The weather bureau said in a nationally televised briefing Thursday evening that Lupit would ram into northeastern Cagayan province early Friday.
But as of late Friday, the tropical storm was almost stationary northeast off Cagayan, packing winds of up to 65 miles per hour and gusts of up to 81 mph.
Prisco Nilo, the head of the weather bureau, said Lupit was expected to remain almost stationary for the next 12 hours, causing rains, strong winds and possible storm surges along the Philippines' northern tip.