Torrential rains flood half of Philippine capital

Torrential monsoon rains flooded half of the Philippine capital on Tuesday, killing at least 16 people as rampaging waters swept away homes, destroyed bridges and triggered a landslide in a shanty town.

Some residents were marooned on their roofs as parts of Manila were submerged in waters above head height in the worst flooding to hit the chaotic city of 15 million people since hundreds of people died three years ago.

"Right now we're on a massive rescue operation," Office of Civil Defence director Edgardo Ollet told AFP, warning the death toll would rise after people had ignored warnings to leave their homes.

"We are positive we still have more dead because there are some who won't evacuate."

Bad weather from seasonal southwest monsoons and Typhoon Saola had already pounded Manila and nearby areas for over a week, soaking the ground and raising dam levels to capacity.

Meteorologists said more than half the amount of rain normally seen in August then fell on the city in 24 hours, and warned the deluge would continue overnight and into Wednesday.

Rescue workers on rubber boats and military trucks were deployed in the flooded areas to pick up stranded people on Tuesday.

But they could not reach all areas and residents took to social media to appeal for help. On Twitter, #rescuePH quickly gained currency as the main hashtag used by people to send or gain information about the floods.

In the worst reported incident, nine people from the same family died in a landslide on a mountainous area of northern Manila near the city's reservoir that is populated by thousands of mainly illegal squatters.

"They were buried alive. It happened suddenly. We heard a crash, and then people crying out in pain," Honeyleta Ibrega, a neighbour of the landslide victims, told AFP.

A bus driver drowned in central Manila and six other people were confirmed to have drowned in surrounding areas, according to a government hospital and the civil defence office.

Tuesday's deaths brought the number of people killed by the monsoon rains across the Philippines over the past week to 69, according to authorities.

Another 80,000 people in and around Manila were in schools, gymnasiums and other government buildings set up as evacuation centres, according to the government.

However countless others were seeking shelter with friends or relatives, or hoping to wait out the crisis in their homes.

The Philippines has millions of people living in shanty towns, and the scale of a crisis such as Tuesday's flooding often means people have to fend for themselves.

Angie Angeles, a 33-year-old housewife, who had moved her family of nine and some of their salvaged belongings onto their roof in a lower-class southern district of Manila, said she intended to remain at home.

"We have no place else to go. There is no place to sleep at the evacuation centres," Angeles told AFP as the water was waist deep in her home around lunchtime on Tuesday.

Schools, financial markets and most government and private offices were also shut on Tuesday, while power was turned off in some parts of the city as a precautionary measure with the waters seeping into electrical facilities.

The breadth and ferocity of the floods brought back memories of tropical storm Ketsana, which killed 464 people as 80 percent of the capital was flooded in September, 2009.

Government weather forecaster Glaiza Escullar told AFP that Tuesday floods were close to the levels seen during Ketsana. However she said the 2009 floods were more dangerous because they were more sudden.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Philippines backs support for small enterprises at APEC meet

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines' top trade official on Saturday called for support for the integration of micro, small and medium enterprises in global trade, which he said would help reduce poverty and inequality in the Asia-Pacific region. …

  • US renews travel warning to Mindanao
    US renews travel warning to Mindanao

    The US State Department renewed its warning about the risks of travel to the Philippines, in particular to the Sulu archipelago, certain regions and cities of Mindanao and the southern Sulu Sea area. In an update on Wednesday of a travel warning it issued Nov. 20, 2014, the State Department said US citizens should continue to defer non-essential travel to the Sulu archipelago due to the high threat of kidnapping of international travelers and violence linked to insurgency and terrorism there. …

  • Phl gains support for APEC Action Agenda
    Phl gains support for APEC Action Agenda

    The Philippine initiative to put the interests of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) front and center in global and regional trade has made significant progress following the conclusion on Thursday of the 2nd APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM2) and Related Meetings in Boracay, Aklan. Called “The Boracay Action Agenda to Globalize MSMEs,” the Philippine proposal calls for a host of specific, concrete and practical interventions that APEC economies can implement to provide MSMEs wider …

  • Phl to join Bangkok meet on Rohingya crisis next week
    Phl to join Bangkok meet on Rohingya crisis next week

    The Philippines will join a 15-nation meeting in Bangkok, Thailand next week to address the migration crisis involving thousands of Rohingyas who escaped persecution in Myanmar and Bangladesh. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima bared this yesterday after meeting with United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) representative to the Philippines Bernard Kerblat. In an interview, De Lima said the Philippine government has been invited to the meeting. …

  • Magnitude 4.2 quake jolts Sorsogon
    Magnitude 4.2 quake jolts Sorsogon

    LEGAZPI CITY—A magnitude 4.2 earthquake hit Prieto Diaz town in Sorsogon before dawn yesterday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said. …

  • Drought-resistant rice breeds bared
    Drought-resistant rice breeds bared

    SCIENCE CITY OF MUÑOZ, Nueva Ecija – Amid the searing heat, the Philippine Rice Research Institute central experiment station here has identified nine rice breeds which have been proven to be drought-resistant and produce high yields in temperatures as high as 38°C based on a recent study. Thelma Padolina, lead researcher of the study titled “Screening of rice-induced mutants for heat and drought tolerance,” identified the breeding lines as the Ballatinaw lines, PSB Rc72H and Azucena lines. …

  • Phl, US assert rights, ignore China warning
    Phl, US assert rights, ignore China warning

    The United States military will continue air and sea patrols in international waters even after the Chinese navy repeatedly warned a US surveillance plane to leave the airspace over artificial islands China is creating in the disputed South China Sea. The Philippine government also declared it would continue activities in the region, calling on China to respect freedom of navigation and aviation. “Our position on the importance of letting freedom of navigation, freedom of aviation and …

  • MM shutdown eyed for quake drill; 6 schools warned
    MM shutdown eyed for quake drill; 6 schools warned

    Electricity and mobile phone services would be cut throughout Metro Manila, and all private and government offices and businesses, including shopping malls, would be closed. That would be the situation on July 16 between 3 and 8 p.m. to simulate the scenario of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has warned that an earthquake of that magnitude could occur and kill at least 33,500 people and injure at least 113,600 others following a …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options