Philippine monsoon affects 1m people
THE number of people affected by floods - which swamped a big chunk of Manila for a third day - has reached one million, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
In a report released yesterday, the council said the total number of those affected increased to 223,991 families, or 1.06 million people, in 35 cities on the island of Luzon, including the Philippine capital of Manila.
The damage from the south-western monsoon, made worse by Tropical Storm Trami, has been pegged at 66 million pesos (S$2 million) so far, with 88 roads still impassable due to floods.
Fatalities remained at eight, while four are still missing. The provincial authorities warned that the death toll could rise amid reports of more drownings.
Still, the crisis has eased from Tuesday, when more than half of the sprawling capital of 12 million people was submerged and the rain was heavier.
One of the worst-affected areas was the coastal area of Cavite, about 18km from the the capital, where residents were enduring waist-deep water streaming through countless homes.
"We are really pitiful here. People are still shocked. There is no electricity, they are looking for food and have to walk for miles to get food," Mr Lino Ibadlit, a district councillor, said.
He said the local government distributed food and other relief goods, but those were enough for only one day.
"This will be a long day for all of us... The people have no choice but to wade through the water to look for food, but stores are either closed or have run out of supplies," he said.
The floods paralysed Manila on Monday and Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Trami battered Taiwan yesterday with strong winds and torrential rain, forcing the authorities to close offices and call off nearly 200 international flights.
PHILIPPINE INQUIRER/ASIA NEWS NETWORK, AFP