Southern China braces for Typhoon Conson landfall

Southern China braces for winds as the typhoon killed 38 in the Philippines.

Beijing: Southern China braced for torrential rains and lashing winds on Friday as Typhoon Conson crept toward land after killing 38 people and leaving a trail of destruction in the Philippines.

Conson had been downgraded to a tropical storm after blowing out of the Philippines but strengthened again into a typhoon late Thursday with winds of 75 miles per hour (120 kilometres per hour), China`s National Meteorological Centre said. It was expected to make landfall on Hainan island on Friday afternoon or evening.

In addition to Hainan, parts of Guangdong province and neighbouring Guangxi region will see torrential rains over the next 24 hours as Conson moves toward the northwest at 9 to 13 mph (15 to 20 kph).

The typhoon killed at least 38 people in the Philippines, but emergency crews restored electricity to Manila and nearby provinces on Luzon island on Thursday as normalcy crept back. Authorities continued the search for 47 missing people and started to repair the damage caused by the year`s first major typhoon.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, in a nationally televised emergency meeting, scolded the weather bureau for failing to predict that Conson would hit Manila, which left government agencies unprepared for the onslaught.

On Thursday, the Navy, coast guard and policemen recovered the bodies of 14 fishermen at Bataan province, west of Manila. Nine died when a wayward oil barge slammed into their boats, which were moored near Mariveles town, the coast guard said. The bodies of five other fishermen were found at sea off Bataan, where their boats sank.

Many parts of China have been pounded by storms this summer, though areas expected to be hit by Conson had not been seriously affected so far. Flooding and subsequent landslides in communities along the Yangtze River and other scattered parts of China have killed 107 people so far this month, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said. Direct economic losses in July reached CNY 20 billion (USD 3 billion).

In Japan, police said landslides caused by heavy rains killed two people in Hiroshima while another was swept away in a swollen river. Eight people were missing across western and central Japan.

Bureau Report

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