Typhoon Hits Eastern Philippines, Causing Power Outages

Strong waves caused by Typhoon Vongfong batter houses along the coastline of Catbalogan city in the eastern Philippines on May, 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Simvale Sayat)
Strong waves caused by Typhoon Vongfong batter houses along the coastline of Catbalogan city in the eastern Philippines on May, 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Simvale Sayat)
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Typhoon Hits Eastern Philippines, Causing Power Outages

Strong waves caused by Typhoon Vongfong batter houses along the coastline of Catbalogan city in the eastern Philippines on May, 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Simvale Sayat)
Strong waves caused by Typhoon Vongfong batter houses along the coastline of Catbalogan city in the eastern Philippines on May, 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Simvale Sayat)

A strong typhoon on Tuesday slammed into the eastern Philippines, bringing high winds that caused power outages in several provinces.

Typhoon Conson carried sustained winds of 120 kilometers (74 miles) per hour with gusts of up to 150 kph (93 mph), first making landfall at the coastal town of Hernani in Eastern Samar province, before hitting the nearby Samar province early 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, reported The Associated Press.

“We only have minor damage here, thank God,” Eastern Samar Gov. 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.



Fire at Hospital in Iran’s North Kills 9 Patients

The Iranian flag. (AFP)
The Iranian flag. (AFP)
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Fire at Hospital in Iran’s North Kills 9 Patients

The Iranian flag. (AFP)
The Iranian flag. (AFP)

A fire broke out at a hospital in Iran's north, killing nine patients, state media reported Tuesday.

The blaze started at 1:30 local time (2200GMT) at Qaem Hospital in the city of Rasht, some 330 kilometers (about 205 miles) northwest of the capital Tehran, state TV said, leaving six women and three men dead.

Chief of the city fire department, Shahram Momeni, said on state TV that an electric short circuit in the basement — which harbors the intensive care unit — malfunctioned, causing the fire.

Momeni said emergency workers rescued more than 140 people, patients and hospital staff, after being trapped because of the smoke, and that 120 of them were hospitalized in other medical facilities. He added that an investigation has been ordered.

A video posted online appeared to show smoke billowing from the hospital in the middle of the night.

Iranian media occasionally report on fires in hospitals and clinics that are mainly blamed on technical issues.

In 2020, an explosion from a gas leak in a medical clinic in northern Tehran killed 19 people.