Floods in the Philippines have already killed more than 50 people as rain continues to pour, causing dams to overflow and forcing more people to flee their homes.
Heavy rains brought the Philippines capital to a standstill Tuesday, forcing at least 20 thousand people to flee their homes as floodwaters covered half the sprawling Philippines city.
Schools, financial markets and most government and private offices were shut as key roadways in Manila – a metropolis of around 15 million people – were submerged by waters that in some areas reached neck-deep.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration issued a red alert signal for the metropolitan region of Manila, the capital, warning of serious flooding in the urban heart of the Philippines.
The south-west monsoon enhanced by Tropical Storm Haikui located 300km north-east of Taiwan was expected to bring more rain, expect flashfloods in mountainous areas and floods in low-lying areas.
Flooding in Philippine capital has killed more than 50 people
President Benigno Aquino met civil defence officials to discuss the situation. He said that everybody who is supposed to do something is doing what he is supposed to do. The severity of the rain since Monday afternoon – in an already saturated city – has led officials to issue the highest level of alert.
For many Manila citizens, these rains will be a reminder of the deadly floods caused by Typhoon Ketsana three years ago, which killed more than 4 hundred people.
Filipinos residents of low-lying slums fled the huge shantytowns lining Manila’s rivers and sewers for the safety of schools, gymnasiums and government buildings as the downpour generated by seasonal monsoons struck overnight.
Military trucks hauled stranded citizens from their homes, while enterprising children fashioned crude rafts out of scrap wood and banana tree trunks and charged people to ferry them around.
Power was turned off in some parts of the capital as a precautionary measure as the waters seeped into electrical facilities.
Flooding brings chaos to Philippine capital / dozens of buildings under the water
Bad weather from seasonal southwest monsoons has pounded Manila city and nearby areas for over a week since Typhoon Saola brushed past the country’s north.
According to disaster authorities, before the latest deluge, the death toll from 8 days of sustained rains had reached 53 with more than 267 thousand people forced to flee their homes across the Philippine country.
The heavy monsoon rains have inundated the island of Luzon, the largest island in the Philippines, where Manila country is situated, and which is home to nearly 12 millions of people. The downpours are expected to continue tomorrow and genealogists warning that landslides and flash floods were likely in mountainous areas.
The effects of the monsoon are being exacerbated by Typhoon Haikui, which is moving toward the eastern coast of China, hundreds of kilometers to the north.
Nearly 19,000 people displaced by the rain and floods were staying in evacuation centers as of Tuesday. No new casualties were reported from the overnight rains.