Thu, Jul 15, 2010 - Page 1 News List

Typhoon Conson blacks out parts of Manila

ANGRY PRESIDENTBenigno Aquino III scolded the weather bureau for inaccurate forecasts after it said the storm would only strike provinces to the north of the capital

Reuters and AFP, , Reuters and AFP, MANILA

Parts of Manila may be without power until tomorrow after Typhoon Conson hit the Philippines’ main island of Luzon, killing at least 20 people with more than 60 missing, and moved towards southern China.

It would take two to three days to repair at least five major transmission lines after cables and wires were cut on Tuesday night by falling trees, posts and strong winds, said Guillermo Redoblado, spokesman for the national grid corporation.

Other areas of Luzon may have to wait until the weekend, the company warned.

Provinces neighboring the capital were hit harder by Conson, which weakened to a tropical storm after reaching Luzon but still carried winds of 95kph and gusts of up to 120kph.

Authorities across Luzon said 20 people had been confirmed killed. Fifty-seven fishermen were also missing, while three other people were unaccounted for south of Manila after flooding swept away their shanties, the military said.

Conson was expected to be out of Philippine waters by today and reach Hainan Island in 24 to 48 hours, the weather bureau said.

The ferocity of Conson took many people in Manila by surprise after the state weather service said it would only strike provinces to the north of the capital.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III scolded the weather bureau for inaccurate forecasts at a meeting of National Disaster Coordinating Council yesterday.

“This is not acceptable,” he said. “We rely on you to tell us where the potential problems are ... All the agencies have adequately met their responsibilities at this point in time but your information is sorely lacking. We have had this problem for quite a long time.”

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