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Storm Conson hits eastern Philippines, causes outages

September 7, 2021

Storm Conson hit the eastern Philippines, with heavy rain and wind expected to endure. The former typhoon was downgraded to a severe tropical storm by the country's weather authority.

A destroyed building in Dimasalang, Mastabe, Philippines
The downgraded typhoon is expected to hover over the Philippines for some time yetImage: Rupert Bulalaque Capellan/REUTERS

Severe Tropical Storm Conson (called Jolina by authorities in the Philippines) hit the eastern Philippines on Tuesday, with strong winds causing power outages in several parts. 

The eye of the storm was near Masbate province's Dimasalang town. Formerly a typhoon, it was downgraded to tropical storm levels on Tuesday, said the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA-DOST) on Twitter. 

"We only have minor damage here, thank God," Eastern Samar Governor Ben Evardone told the Associated Press in a text message. 

Heavy winds and rain expected

However, PAGASA-DOST warned of continuing bad weather, saying that its latest forecast "shows that the eye of Severe Tropical Storm Jolina might directly hit Metro Manila tomorrow [Wednesday] afternoon-evening. Whether it will be a direct hit or a close approach, prepare for stormy weather tomorrow!"

The capital had been put on a level 1 storm alert, on a five-point scale.

Flooding was reported in Tacloban City. Heavy winds and rainfall were expected within 18 hours in portions of seven provinces including Quezon, Masbate, Albay and Samar, which are under level 3 warning.

Manila: fleeing rising water levels

Weather forecasters expect Conson to weaken into a tropical storm by Wednesday and Thursday. 

The PAGASA said heavy to moderate rain and winds were expected in the regions of Zambales, Bataan, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Bulacan on Tuesday.

The Philippines sees about 20 such storms and typhoons a year. It also lies in the Pacific "Ring of Fire," an area particularly prone to other natural disasters such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

tg/msh (AP)