Typhoon Basyang

Typhoon Basyang ( international code name Conson ) ripped across the Philippines. Basyang hit the Philippines late Tuesday and whipped the main island of Luzon throughout the night with wind gusts of 120 kilometers ( 74 miles ) an hour. Killing at least 20 people as it destroyed slum areas and 60 more people are reported missing. The typhoon also brought the Metro Manila into a standstill.

Some of the flimsy homes made by squatters along the coast were entirely swept away, leaving the shocked residents to scavenge for scrap wood to build makeshift shelters. Authorities confirmed that 20 people had been killed, including two ( 2 ) squatters who were crushed when their homes collapsed.

Fifty-seven ( 57 ) fishermen were also missing, while three ( 3 ) other people were unaccounted for south of the capital after flooding swept away their shanties, according to the military.

With communication systems down amid the chaos of the typhoon’s aftermath, disaster relief officials said they were still trying to determine the extent of the damage and there were concerns the death toll could rise.

Electricity was knocked out throughout Luzon, including Manila, since fallen tree branches and other debris littered the streets. Some even cause the power lines to be disconnected. Meralco said more than 90 percent of Manila’s 12 million residents still remained without power.

The national energy transmission company warned that the electricity may not be restored in some areas of Manila and as well as neighboring regions for two ( 2 ) more days. The overhead railway system was also shut down due to the power outage.

For safety sake the government closed down primary and high schools for the day.

For workers in office towers that were relying on back-up generators, it was still difficult to make telephone calls on both landline and mobile networks, Internet services were also interrupted or unavaiable.

Conson blew past Luzon and into the South China Sea late this morning.

The aviation services in Manila remained backlogged until the afternoon as airport authorities scrambled to make up for earlier cancellations.

The Philippines is in the so-called typhoon belt of the Pacific. Up to 20 typhoons sweep through the country each year, killing hundreds of people.

Typhoon Basyang was the first ( 1st ) of the season, and its ferocity took many people in Manila by surprise since the state weather service said that the typhoon would only strike provinces north of Metro Manila.

President Benigno Aquino was angry at the state weather service for not warning that Typhoon Basyang would hit the city.

President Aquino told red-faced weather service officials at an emergency meeting of rescue agencies. “This is not acceptable. 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. ”

The ill-equipped Philippine weather service came in for criticism in September last year when it failed to warn the residents of Manila about the threat from Tropical Storm ( Ketsana ) Ondoy, which killed 464 people.

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