Typhoon cuts power in eastern Philippines
A strong typhoon has slammed into the eastern Philippines, bringing high winds that caused power outages in several provinces.
Typhoon Conson carried sustained winds of 120km/h with gusts of up to 150 km/h, first making landfall at the coastal town of Hernani in Eastern Samar province, before hitting the nearby Samar province early on Tuesday, the state weather service said.
As of Tuesday morning, the eye of the typhoon was in the vicinity of Masbate province's Dimasalang town.
"We only have minor damage here, thank God," Eastern Samar Governor Ben Evardone said in a text message.
He said work had been suspended in government offices.
Power systems operator National Grid Corporation of the Philippines said some transmission lines were affected. Power outages were reported in Eastern Samar, Samar and Leyte provinces.
Local officials reported some flooding in Tacloban City.
The weather bureau warned of destructive winds and heavy rainfall within 18 hours in portions of seven provinces including Quezon, Masbate, Albay and Samar, which are under typhoon level three warning out of a five-step system.
The metro region of Philippines' capital, Manila, is under level one warning, which means strong winds are expected within the next 36 hours.
Conson is forecast to weaken into a tropical storm Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.
About 20 typhoons and storms batter the Philippines each year, aside from seasonal monsoon rains. The country also lies in the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire," a region prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, making it one of the world's most disaster-prone nations.
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