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Conson Hits

Typhoon Conson is the latest ordeal in a bout of extreme weather that has hit east and northeast Asia in July 2010.

Asked for a comment on Conson, Asia Society's Director of Policy Initiatives Mike Kulma said, "Damage has been extensive, having some worried that flooding in China could rival the mass disaster of the 1998 Yangtze River floods."

Conson, named after a picturesque mountain region in Vietnam, sustained winds of 93 kilometers per hour (58 mpr) near its center, causing torrential rains and displacing scores of people in China's southern island of Hainan, killing two people.

Meanwhile, Conson slammed into the Philippines on July 13, directly hitting the capital, Manila, as it cut westward into the South China Sea with a ferocity that caught weather forecasters by surprise. Noting that parts of the Philippines have been experiencing drought warnings, Asia Society’s Kulma said, "The rains might be considered welcome, if not for their intensity and resultant damage."

So far that resultant damage includes a death toll of almost 80 people, with more missing persons reported every day. 

Conson has also damaged over 3,000 houses, bridges, and schools in seven provinces around Manila, according to the website of the National Disaster Coordinating Council. Power has been restored in some areas hit by the typhoon, and the Council estimates that damages to infrastructure, fisheries, agriculture, and schools will amount to 22.3 million pesos ($482,000).

In Vietnam, the storm has left one dead and about a dozen missing.