Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Philippines swamped after days of torrential rain

The Guardian (UK) via the Associated Press: Some of the Philippines' heaviest rains on record fell for a second day on Tuesday, turning the capital's roads into rivers and trapping tens of thousands of people in homes and shelters. The government suspended all work except rescues and disaster response.

Officials reported at least seven people dead, 11 injured and four missing. The dead included a five-year-old boy whose house was hit by a concrete wall that collapsed.

Throughout the sprawling, low-lying capital region of 12 million people, floodwaters made most of the roads impassable and reached waist- or neck-deep along rivers and creeks. Authorities opened more than 200 evacuation centres in Manila and surrounding provinces filled with tens of thousands of people, social welfare secretary Corazon Soliman said. More than 600,000 people have been affected by the floods.

The flooding followed two nights of heavy monsoon rains, exacerbated by Tropical Storm Trami. The storm hovered over the North Philippine Sea and drenched the main northern island of Luzon with more than 30mm (one inch) of rain an hour. It was forecast to move away from the Philippines toward Taiwan on Wednesday...

Manila City Hall before a 2011 rain, shot by Kaori-san, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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