Most of Metro Manila, Philippines was engulfed by darkness in the wee hours of Wednesday morning as Typhoon Basyang (International code name “Conson”) howled with strong winds that ripped across the country, killing at least 20 people as it brought the nation’s capital to a virtual standstill.
As of this writing less than 50% of Metro Manila’s electricity have been restored. Most of the communications system that were affected were still down as of Wednesday afternoon. Thus, even cellular phones were without signal and therefore, unusable.
The transport system also took a hit as the Metro Rail Transit was forced to shut down its operations due to the power outage. Meanwhile, aviation authorities scrambled to clear its incoming and outgoing flight backlog which was already filing up, even before electricity got cut off , after having to re-route or cancel flights due to the bad weather.
President Benigno Aquino expressed disappointment and sternly reprimanded the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the country’s weather bureau, for not warning Metro Manila’s residents of the extent of damage Conson would bring once it hits the city.
PAGASA drew a lot of flak because it announced that typhoon Conson would only hit provinces to the north of Manila.