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Typhoon Conson Sweeps Far East


In the travel industry, just like in most industries, seasonality matters. There's a time for every place, and it's important to know when it's appropriate to visit a territory, so we can plan our vacations accordingly, when possible.

In southern Asia, the monsoon season kicked in last month, and through September it is to be considered off, even dangerous, season. This is due to the yearly storms and hurricanes that systematically hit and whip particularly the southeastern area of the continent.


The latest typhoon to make the headlines is the "Conson", that yesterday ripped through the main Philippine island, leaving a trail of wreckage in Manila and sweeping shacks into the sea.


The official civil defence office said 19 fishermen from the eastern island of Catanduanes had failed to return home and were missing at sea after the typhoon hit the area late Tuesday.


There were no immediate reports of fatalities but communication systems were down amid the chaos of the typhoon's aftermath, and disaster relief officials were still trying to determine the extent of the damage.


Electricity was knocked out throughout the main island of Luzon, including the country's capital where fallen tree branches and other debris littered the streets.


Manila's overhead railway system was also shut down due to the power outage. Knee-high floods and fallen trees were still blocking some roads in and around the capital, obstructing traffic.


Shanty towns erected by squatters on the coastal areas near Manila were swept away, leaving the shocked, drenched residents to scavenge scrap wood to build makeshift shelters, according to an AFP reporter there.


Several flights in and out of Manila were cancelled as Conson was passing but airport officials said their operations had returned to normal after the storm passed.


Conson, packing maximum gusts of 120 kilometres (74 miles) an hour, hit the eastern side of Luzon late Tuesday and crossed the island before exiting before dawn Wednesday, heading west into the South China Sea at 22 kilometres an hour.

Comments

  • Erin De Santiago - International Travel Examiner 4 years ago

    Just to clarify - there are a number of fatalities - it is up to 20 last report I received.

    I am not sure I would say it's dangerous to travel Asia during monsoon season. That might be a bit of an unfair statement. I live here and have been through my share of typhoons (including Morakot which was the worst typhoon to hit Taiwan in 50 years). I've had worse luck with the Caribbean and traveling during hurricane season down there. This year, we are expected to get 4 typhoons here versus the average 6 - there are usually far more hurricanes in the Atlantic than that per season. Heck, I was in French Polynesia when the 4 cyclones in a row hit back in February - now that was definitely not fun. It caused quite a change in our 2 week cruise itinerary, but it worked out and we had a great trip.

  • Author 4 years ago

    Erin,
    Thanks for your comment. As for the number of fatalities, I posted the article with the only update I got access to, which was right after it happened. Usually those can't be too precise about damages and losses, and sure enough things are bound to change as hours pass.
    I appreciate the clarification about fatalities, now that such datum is available.

  • Author 4 years ago

    Regarding the dangers of traveling to southeastern Asia during monsoon season: while I understand your point, it's undeniable that it isn't the best time to visit that part of the continent for this very reason.
    You are definitely familiar with the area year-round, and I take your opinion as that of an experienced locale. Still, I aim to advise the experienced as well as the inexperienced travelers (especially the latter), who would probably feel unsafe during a cyclon like that.
    Then, of course, seasonality gives hints and can help suggest a better time over another to go, but like you said, that doesn't mean a storm can't hit any time of the year.
    I hope this helps making it sound less unfair: that really wasn't my intention.