Typhoon leaves 37 dead, 26 missing in Philippines

Typhoon Conson blew out of the Philippines on Thursday after killing at least 37 people, plunging the main northern island into darkness and leaving the new president fuming over forecasters` failure to predict the storm.

Updated: Jul 15, 2010, 21:50 PM IST

Manila: Typhoon Conson blew out of the Philippines on Thursday after killing at least 37 people, plunging the main northern island into darkness and leaving the new president fuming over forecasters` failure to predict that the storm would slam into the capital.
Emergency crews restored electricity to Manila and
nearby provinces on Luzon island as normalcy crept back.
Flights resumed and schools reopened today. Authorities
continued the search for 26 missing fishermen and started to
repair the damage caused by the year`s first major typhoon.

Conson hit the northeastern coast Tuesday night,
packing winds of 120 kilometers per hour and gusts of 150 km
per hour. It blew out of the Philippines into the South China
Sea today with sustained winds of about 85 km per hour,
government weather forecaster Gener Quiplong said.

Conson, which has now weakened into a tropical
storm, is forecast to make another landfall along the
Chinese-Vietnamese border this weekend.

The Philippines is hit by about 20 typhoons and
storms a year, gaining a reputation as the welcome mat for the
most destructive cyclones from the Pacific.

Last year, back-to-back typhoons inundated Manila
and outlying provinces, killing nearly 1,000 people.

Newly elected 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.
Today, 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 high winds and waves pulled up the barge`s
anchor late Tuesday and sent the steel-hulled vessel hurtling
toward about 10 fishing boats which were being secured by
their owners and crews, regional coast guard chief Commodore
Luis Tuason Jr. said.

PTI