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TYPHOON CONSON IN PHILIPPINES KILL MORE THAN 70


MANILA, Philippines - Manila Rescue operations for missing fishermen continued, but death toll from Typhoon Conson (locally known as Basyang), the country's first major storm, could rise.
The toll could rise to more than 70, with 23 fatalities identified and the number of missing climbing to 77 Thursday, the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) said a day after the storm ravaged 194 villages in five cities, including Metro Manila, and 47 municipalities in 12 provinces nationwide.
  • Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Ricardo David said that helicopters continued to search for missing fishermen in central and northern Luzon that were affected by Typhoon Conson.
  • Rescuers were looking for five missing fishermen who were companions of 19 fishermen who survived and were found alive off Polilio Island, Quezon province, southern Luzon. Four of their companions died at the height of the storm, said the NDCC.
  • On board three fishing boats (with 16 passengers each), they had left Quezon on July 13 but the boats sank by large waves on July 14.
  • Rescuers found the body of Efren Ledesma, 59, a barge captain, in a river near Limay town, Bataan, central Luzon. His companions said he hit his head after they jumped from the barge which broke into two.
  • Eight fishermen were rescued off Camarines Sur in southern Luzon on Wednesday. They said one of their companions died because of extreme cold.
  • Reacting to reports that majority of missing people were fishermen from central and southern Luzon, President Benigno Aquino told disaster officials that fishermen should be notified of incoming storms 36 hours ahead of landfall.
  • Other victims in Metro Manila, southern and central Luzon died by drowning, electrocution, and toppled walls.
  • Yesterday, areas in central Luzon and southern Luzon remained isolated because of damaged roads and bridges and uncollected debris that clogged several roads.
Metro Manila's elevated train system, communication services, and power system went back to normal.
Schools and offices were opened, but those in suburban areas remained closed due to power outages.
Electricity will return in three days in central and southern Luzon, in one more day in suburban areas in Metro Manila.
Because of the destruction of several grids, "we have to ration off supply. Three-hour rotational brownouts are expected," Dina Lomotan, spokeswoman of the Manila Electric Company said in a radio interview.
Source: Reuters
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