Philippine floods persist, toll rises to 23

Rescuers deployed rubber boats while doctors fanned across cramped evacuation centres in the Philippines as the death toll from five days of flooding reached 23 on Thursday, officials said.

Large farming towns north of the capital Manila as well as heavily populated coastal areas remained under waist deep floods, with television footage showing residents wading in muddy waters as they tried to seek safer shelters.

Health officials meanwhile raised the alarm over a possible outbreak of leptospirosis, a bacterial disease spread by infected rat urine in flood waters, saying this could lead to a further spike in the death toll.

"We are appealing for help from the national government. Our town hall itself is submerged in waist deep water," said mayor Orencio Gabriel of Obando town on government radio as intermittent rains continued to pound many areas.

"We are all under water here," he said.

Obando is a farming town of about 60,000 people 16 kilometres (10 miles) north of Manila where a major river system drains into Manila Bay.

But high sea tides on Thursday morning worsened the flooding by slowing down the flow of water into the bay, even as Typhoon Saola had already began bringing its fury northward to Taiwan.

"People are living in dire situations in evacuation centres and disease outbreaks are what could push the toll even higher," warned Carmencita Banatin, head of the department of health's emergency management unit.

"We have rushed medicines and doctors to evacuation centres to begin immunising and stave off any explosion of diseases," she told AFP.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in Manila said nine more people were killed due to drowning and other accidents related to Typhoon Saola, raising the toll to 23 overnight.

Saola had caused tidal surges that swept over seawalls and flooded huge parts of Manila Wednesday, forcing schools to call off classes and flights to be grounded.

Close to 180,000 people had been evacuated from 90 towns and 22 cities, many of them crowding each other in school gyms converted into temporary shelters.

Banatin said said health workers were expecting an outbreak of leptospirosis which has an incubation of about a week.

The worst outbreak of the disease occurred in Manila in 2009, when a major storm submerged more than 80 percent of the city of 15 million.

Of the more than 3,300 cases of leptospirosis cases recorded then, 249 died, making it the biggest casualty figure for the disease in the world so far, according to government and World Health Organization figures.

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.

  • Ex-Cavite governor gets PCSO top post
    Ex-Cavite governor gets PCSO top post

    After nearly a year, President Aquino finally made good his promise to a long-time ally – former Cavite governor and congressman Erineo Maliksi – to head the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), replacing Margarita Juico who resigned in May 2014. Maliksi must be officially elected by the PCSO board members as their chairman. Prior to his appointment to the PCSO, Maliksi faced graft charges before the Sandiganbayan in connection with the alleged illegal purchase of P2.5 million worth …

  • US, Phl military exercises to focus on sea defense
    US, Phl military exercises to focus on sea defense

    A massive deployment of aircraft, personnel and warships characterizes this year’s Balikatan between the two allies, which war games were launched 30 years ago. Commander Lued Lincuna, Philippine Navy public affairs chief, said the Marine Battalion Landing Team-4 (MBLT-4) will link  up with the US 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force. …

  • P-Noy seeking united Asean stand on China
    P-Noy seeking united Asean stand on China

    With China’s actions threatening to “considerably alter the way of doing business globally,” President Aquino will ask the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to take a united stand against Beijing’s massive reclamation activities and other provocative acts in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea. Aquino will raise the appeal to his ASEAN counterparts when they meet on April 27-28 in Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi in Malaysia. Beijing reacted immediately to the plan, saying the …

  • OIC exec backs BBL, says passage to end extremism
    OIC exec backs BBL, says passage to end extremism

    The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) yesterday backed the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), warning that failure to see the peace process through with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) could open the door to extremism. OIC secretary-general Iyad Bin Amin Madani, who is in the country to rally support for the peace process and the BBL, told reporters at the Senate yesterday that the Philippines should not waste the opportunity to attain lasting peace in Mindanao, especially …

  • Senate plan to probe corruption in judiciary opposed
    Senate plan to probe corruption in judiciary opposed

    The head of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) is opposing the plan of the Senate to investigate alleged “justice for sale” in the judiciary. In an interview yesterday, IBP national president Vicente Joyas contested the pronouncement of Senate President Franklin Drilon that the Senate Blue Ribbon committee can probe the reported corruption in the judiciary, as it remains part of the scope of the Senate’s investigative power. “The plan of the Senate to push through with the …

  • PNP: Floyd camp charging P.2 M for pay-per-view
    PNP: Floyd camp charging P.2 M for pay-per-view

    The camp of Floyd Mayweather is reportedly charging the Philippine National Police P200,000 for a pay-per-view deal of his fight with Manny Pacquiao, a PNP official said yesterday. Director Danilo Constantino, the PNP’s Chief Directorial Staff, said the cost of the pay-per-view for the fight makes it difficult for the PNP to sponsor the free viewing for its personnel and their dependents at Camp Crame’s multi-purpose center. “We are currently negotiating for the pay-per-view and we ever …

  • No disruption in gun permit issuance – PNP
    No disruption in gun permit issuance – PNP

    There has been no disruption in the issuance of permits to carry firearms outside residence (PTCFOR) since former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Alan Purisima was suspended in December 2014, an official said yesterday. PNP officer-in-charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina is the one signing the PTCFOR cards, PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr. said. Cerbo, however, could not say when Espina started signing the cards and how many PTCFORs have …

  • HK pol calls Pinay maids ‘home wreckers’
    HK pol calls Pinay maids ‘home wreckers’

    A senior Hong Kong politician is under fire after she accused some Filipina domestic helpers of seducing their male employers, in comments branded “racist” and “offensive” by critics. There are 300,000 maids in Hong Kong, mostly from the Philippines and Indonesia, with concern growing among rights groups over their welfare following a string of abuse cases. But lawmaker Regina Ip, a close adviser to the city’s leader Leung Chun-ying and tipped as a future chief executive, cast the maids as …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options