More than one million battle Philippine floods

More than one million people in and around the Philippine capital battled deadly floods Wednesday amid relentless monsoon rains, with neck-deep waters trapping slum dwellers and the wealthy on roofs.

Sixty percent of Manila remained under water and vast tracts of surrounding farmland were also submerged as the deluge stretched into its third day, according to the government.

"The roads in some areas are like rivers. People have to use boats to move around. All the roads and alleys are flooded," civil defence chief Benito Ramos told AFP after surveying the megacity of 15 million people from the air.

The death toll from this week's rain in Manila and nearby provinces rose to 20 on Wednesday after four more people drowned, according to authorities.

This brought the confirmed number of people killed across the country since a typhoon triggered heavy rains in late July to 73.

State weather forecasters said more than 70 centimetres (27 inches) of rain -- well over the average for all of August -- had fallen in 48 hours, and warned of more to come overnight Wednesday.

The worst hit parts of Manila were mostly the poorest districts, where millions of slum dwellers have built homes along riverbanks, the swampy surrounds of a huge lake, canals and other areas susceptible to flooding.

In Santo Domingo, a creekside shantytown, mother-of-three Anita Alterano recounted how her family escaped the floods that submerged their one-storey home by walking over the roofs of houses until they reached high ground.

"We initially just decided to climb up on the roof where we were safe but wet. We waited for rescuers but it took so long for anyone to notice us," said Alterano, 43.

"So we got a rope, I tied myself to my husband and my children, we clambered from roof-to-roof... until we reached a school. But the problem is we have no water and food."

Some of Manila's richest districts were also affected, including the riverside community of Provident where water had inundated the ground floors of three-storey mansions.

Inside the gated village of about 2,000 homes, rescue workers on a motorised rubber boat drove past submerged luxury cars to retrieve children and the elderly from rooftops.

Across Manila and surrounding areas, 1.23 million people were affected by the floods, 850,000 of whom had to flee their submerged homes, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

Nearly 250,000 of them were sheltering in schools, gymnasiums and other buildings that have been turned into evacuation centres, while others were staying with relatives and friends, the council said.

A government worker told President Benigno Aquino in a televised disaster management meeting that the biggest problem for the relief effort was getting enough volunteers to deliver food, water and other emergency supplies.

Despite the chaos, the government ordered its employees and private sector workers back to their jobs on Wednesday, after closing down on Tuesday, while the stock market resumed trading.

The Philippines endures about 20 major storms or typhoons each rainy season, many of which are deadly.

But this week's floods in Manila were the worst in the capital since 2009, when Tropical Storm Ketsana killed more than 460 people.

The typhoons and storms typically start in the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean, then roar west towards the Philippines and onwards to other parts of southeast Asia, or further north to Taiwan, mainland China and Japan.

In China, authorities moved more than 1.5 million people out of the path of Typhoon Haikui before it slammed into the east coast on Wednesday morning.

China's financial centre Shanghai avoided a direct hit, but flights and some train services were suspended there and officials warned the biggest impact might be from rainfall later on Wednesday.

Haikui was the third typhoon to hit China in a week, with 23 people dying in the barrage of storms, according to Chinese state media.

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.

  • Anguished families make 'last visit' before Indonesia executions
    Anguished families make 'last visit' before Indonesia executions

    Relatives of two Australian drug smugglers on death row in Indonesia cried out in anguish as they arrived at a prison island Tuesday, in distressing scenes as they paid what could be their final visit to the condemned men ahead of their executions. Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, ringleaders of the so-called "Bali Nine" heroin-trafficking gang, are among eight foreign drug convicts who are expected to face the firing squad imminently after authorities gave them formal notice of their …

  • Celebrities urge Australia PM to do more to save execution pair
    Celebrities urge Australia PM to do more to save execution pair

    Celebrities including Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush released a video Tuesday urging Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to fly to Indonesia to help save two citizens facing execution, forcing the government to defend its tactics. "Bali Nine" drug traffickers Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan could face the firing squad within hours, along with others from Brazil, Nigeria, the Philippines and an Indonesian prisoner. Australia, Indonesia's close neighbour, has mounted a sustained diplomatic …

  • ISIS has not penetrated Phl – AFP
    ISIS has not penetrated Phl – AFP

    Security officials yesterday maintained that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has not penetrated the Philippines following an expert’s warning that the group poses a threat to the country. Abu Sayyaf, BIFF (Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters), private armed groups to our knowledge are the people making problems down south,” Armed Forces chief Gen. Gregorio Catapang Jr. said. The BIFF and the Abu Sayyaf have pledged allegiance to the ISIS but it remains uncertain whether they are …

  • Cerbo named national police intel chief
    Cerbo named national police intel chief

    Philippine National Police officer-in-charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina yesterday ordered the appointment of PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr. as chief of the Directorate for Intelligence. …

  • Pump prices up anew
    Pump prices up anew

    Oil companies announced yesterday another round of price hikes with independent oil firms among the first to issue their respective announcements. PTT Philippines, the local subsidiary of Thailand’s biggest oil firm, and Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, another independent oil company, were among the first to issue their respective advisories. Seaoil Philippines also issued its announcement. …

  • PNP to ease rules on gun permit processing
    PNP to ease rules on gun permit processing

    The Philippine National Police will simplify requirements for getting a firearm’s permit under the new gun control law, PNP officer-in-charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina said yesterday. Espina said they are working to simplify the process to secure a license to own and possess firearms (LTOPF) amid complaints of excessive requirements from gun holders. Espina directed the Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO) to make it easier for legitimate gun owners to comply with the …

  • Mercy for Mary Jane: Pacman joins appeals
    Mercy for Mary Jane: Pacman joins appeals

    World boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao took time out yesterday from final preparations for his $400-million megafight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. to plead for the life of a Filipina on death row in Indonesia. Pacquiao, a national hero in the Philippines, added his voice to a chorus of global opposition led by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to the executions of a group of foreign drug convicts, including compatriot Mary Jane Veloso. The eight-division world champion, who will face …

  • Phl condoles as Nepal death toll hits 3,700
    Phl condoles as Nepal death toll hits 3,700

    Foreign rescue teams equipped with heavy cutting gear and relief supplies were landing round the clock at Nepal’s only international airport on the outskirts of Kathmandu, which has been devastated by Saturday’s 7.8-magnitude quake. “We need more helicopters for our rescue operations in rural areas,” said Nepal Home Affairs spokesman Laxmi Prasad Dhakal. In a statement issued yesterday, Aquino said a team from the Philippine embassy in New Delhi, India would travel to Nepal to meet the needs …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options