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Rains return to flooded Manila

Aug. 9, 2012 at 2:05 AM   |   Comments

MANILA, Philippines, Aug. 9 (UPI) -- The rains, after a brief respite, returned with vengeance to savage the Philippine capital of Manila, causing more deadly flooding and other destruction.

As of Thursday, flooding, landslides and related incidents blamed on torrential rains of several days had killed at least 19 people in the densely populated capital area and elsewhere and affecting about 2 million of its residents, CNN reported quoting disaster officials.

There was some let up Wednesday morning only to be followed by more of the same on the main island of Luzon where Manila is located. The rains have come on the heels of Typhoon Saola which savaged Luzon and nearby areas in the northern Philippines, killing more than 50 people and causing much destruction before heading to Taiwan and China.

China's Xinhua News Agency reported Thursday emergency workers and soldiers were rushing food, water and clothes to the tens of thousands of marooned people. The report, quoting officials, said about 60 percent of Manila remained inundated.

As of Wednesday, authorities had evacuated more than 800,000 people from flooded areas in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, officials said.

While the death toll had reportedly risen to 19, the Philippine Star quoted Benito Ramos, executive director of the national disaster reduction council, that only 16 deaths had been verified, including nine landslide victims in Quezon City near Manila. Those killed in the landslide included a 23-year-old mother, and her three children, ages three and two years and one-month, the newspaper said.

There were also three survivors in the landslide.

Ramos said 242,211 individuals were staying at 614 evacuation centers while another 607,941 were temporarily staying in the homes of relatives and friends.

Several areas and towns had already been placed under a state of calamity to allow local officials to tap into their emergency funds, the Star reported.

As of Thursday, at least 90 areas in four regions remained flooded, including Metro Manila, Central Luzon and Calabarzon.

Dozens of roads in these regions remained under water, making them impassable. Authorities had so far pressed 5,451 personnel, 34 vehicles and 176 sea planes into service from the military, police and the coast guard to aid in rescue operations.

The Philippines Daily Inquirer reported schools, financial markets and most government and private offices remained closed Wednesday as water was neck-deep in many places.

Flight operations at Manila international airport were reported to be mostly normal.

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