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Friday, July 16, 2010

Typhoon Conson strikes China; heading towards Vietnam

Typhoon Conson is now at tropical storm strength as it sideswipes Hainan Island in the South China Sea. Conson made landfall along the coast of the island on Friday bringing heavy rain and wind along the coast. The storm is expected to remain in the area for much of the day before moving on.

Typhoon Conson hits China, causing casualties (Xinhua)

HAIKOU, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Typhoon Conson landed at Yalong Bay of Sanya City, in south China's island province of Hainan, late Friday, causing casualties.

Conson made landfall at 7:50 p.m., packing winds of up to 126 km per hour at the center, according to the disaster prevention office of Sanya, a tourist resort.

It brought heavy rains and strong winds to Sanya, uprooting trees, pulling down billboards and light poles and partly cutting power supply.

A security guard was buried in debris after a giant billboard toppled at about 7:26 p.m.. The man was found dead at about 11 p.m. after rescuers pulled away the billboard with the help of machines.

A motorcycle rider was hit by a falling billboard and died at the site at about 8 p.m..

The typhoon is expected to hover in the island for about 9 hours before it enters Beibu Bay on Saturday morning.
Typhoon Conson is expected to remain at tropical storm strength until making final landfall in Vietnam sometime on Saturday. One concern was that Conson heavy rains would cause severe flooding by adding too much water to already swollen rivers in south China. Heavy rain throughout the past few weeks have already caused flooding and Conson could make a bad situation worse.

By Saturday morning local time Conson should be in the Tonkin Gulf heading for Vietnam lessening the potential for flooding in China but increasing the potential in the mousntainous northern Vietnam.

Conson Grazing Chinese Island, Heading to Vietnam (AccuWeather)
As of 4 p.m. EDT Friday, Conson was centered roughly 225 miles southeast of Hanoi, Vietnam. The typhoon's maximum sustained winds were estimated to be near 70 mph, the equivalent of a strong tropical storm. Conson was moving to the northwest at 14 mph.

Conson will continue on that track, further grazing the southern Hainan Island with flooding rain and damaging winds into Friday evening EDT (or early Saturday morning local time).

Winds gusted to 67 mph Friday morning EDT in Sanya Fenghuang, located on the island's southern coast.

Conditions will improve over the Hainan Island Friday night as Conson enters the Gulf of Tonkin and takes aim at northern Vietnam.

Conson should make its final landfall in northern Vietnam Saturday morning in between the cities of Thanh Hoa and Hong Gai.

Powerful winds high in the atmosphere, also known as wind shear, are weakening Conson, which has slipped below typhoon strength.

Conson will press farther inland on Saturday, passing over the capital of Hanoi as a tropical storm. Later Saturday into Saturday night, Conson will become a tropical rainstorm over northwestern Vietnam and northern Laos.

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