Massive floods as storm approaches Philippines

Floodwaters covered the Philippine capital and its outskirts as a tropical storm struck the eastern side of the country on Saturday, government agencies said.

Filipinos help children to safety during flooding in Manila. (AFP Photo)

The storm, bearing winds of 85 kilometres (53 miles) per hour with gusts of 100 kilometres, hit the main island of Luzon near the town of Infanta at about 0200 GMT Sunday, moving west at 19 kilometres an hour, the weather station said.

Many districts and roads in the Philippine capital reported flooding with waters in some areas reaching as high as the rooftops of one-storey buildings, the civil defence office said.

As many as 700 people were forced to flee their homes and take refuge in evacuation centres due to rising waters, the office said.

Radio reports said that due to heavy rain, a wall had collapsed in a suburb of Manila, leaving one child missing, but government offices could not confirm this.

Huge traffic jams clogged the roads in the capital as floodwaters caused many vehicles to stall.

Local officials made appeals on air, asking rescue agencies to send rubber boats to rescue stranded people.

The second level of a three-step storm alert was raised over the eastern provinces of Luzon while the first level alert was hoisted over Metropolitan Manila and surrounding areas, the government said.

The storm is expected to move west, across the main island of Luzon, before exiting the country early Sunday.

An average of 20 typhoons and storms enter the Philippines from the Pacific Ocean over the eastern seaboard every year.

Source: AFP

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