Four dead as Typhoon Conson batters Philippines

July 14th, 2010 - 7:16 am ICT by IANS  

Manila, July 14 (DPA) At least four people were killed and 19 others went missing as a powerful typhoon battered the northern and eastern Philippines, officials said Wednesday.
Typhoon Conson made landfall late Tuesday in north-eastern Quezon province, delivering heavy rains and strong winds to Manila and several provinces in the main northern island of Luzon.

Four people were killed after being hit by debris and toppled trees across Cavite province, just south of Manila, according to provincial Governor Jonvic Remulla.

Major Harold Cabunoc, a regional Army spokesman, said 19 people were missing after two small motorised boats capsized separately Tuesday in the eastern province of Catanduanes.

Cabunoc said the boats embarked despite a Coast Guard ban against sea travel due to rough seas.

Many roads in Manila were blocked by electric posts and trees toppled by Conson’s winds, which also caused heavy equipment used in the construction of an overhead highway to collapse.

A wide area in Manila and nearby provinces were plunged into darkness after transmission lines were damaged. Most school classes were suspended, while some offices called off work.

Several local and domestic flights from Manila’s Ninoy Aquino Internationl Airport were suspended early Wednesday due to the dangerous weather conditions.

Four international flights arriving in Manila were diverted to the central Philippine city of Cebu.

The weather bureau said Conson, with peak maximum sustained winds of 120 km per hour and gusts of up to 150 kph, has weakened as it moved toward the South China Sea.

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