Sunday, July 18, 2010

At least 67 dead as Typhoon Conson dwindles in China

Terra Daily via Agence France-Presse: Typhoon Conson weakened to a tropical storm and headed for Vietnam Saturday after brushing the southeastern Chinese island of Hainan and pounding the Philippines, leaving at least 67 dead. Philippine authorities warned the toll could rise further with dozens missing days after Conson struck the main Luzon island, including the capital Manila, on Tuesday with a ferocity that caught weather forecasters by surprise.

The typhoon destroyed thousands of homes, sank or damaged dozens of boats, uprooted trees that crushed people to death and snapped power lines. In China the storm killed at least two people, tore down trees and ripped up electricity pylons when it hit Hainan Friday evening, local officials said.

Authorities on the popular tourist island evacuated around 40,000 people from the most vulnerable areas before the storm barrelled inland. … Television images showed driving rain and powerful winds rocking the island, while residents also reported power outages. Several Vietnamese ships in the South China Sea had been wrecked, the state Xinhua news agency said.

The typhoon was later downgraded to a tropical storm as it headed towards northern Vietnam, according to China's national weather centre. The China Meteorological Administration said the winds had slowed to around 20 kilometres (12 miles) per hour, but that coastal areas of eastern China could still expect heavy rain over the next 24 hours….

Tropical Storm Conson nearing landfall on Vietnam on July 17, via NASA

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