Flooding has killed at least eight people in the Philippines since Monday, forcing more than 200,000 flood - battered residents of capital Manila to flee their homes.
On Tuesday, the country’s National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council confirmed that five people drowned in flooded farming provinces to the north, putting the official death toll at eight, AFP reported. There were a one-year-old baby and a 64-year-old man among the dead, both of whom drowned in the rural province of Pampanga near the capital. More than half of Manila was flooded with water rising above two meters (7 feet) in some parts but there were no reports of casualties in the city. "I chained the door shut so our belongings wouldn't be washed away. But... the water is moving so fast… I was crying when I saw my house being filled with water," said a displaced resident of the capital. Some vast areas of the farming regions near Manila on the main island of Luzon were also inundated. According to Esperanza Cayanan, a meteorologist in charge of the state weather forecaster, 47.5 centimeters (18.7 inches) of rain fell in one part of the capital in the 24 hours to Monday morning. "We have had nothing to eat, nothing to wear. A few people went to houses on higher ground, but most of us had nowhere to go… My children and other people were able to seek refuge on the second floor of my house but a lot of others had to just sit on their roofs... We're waiting for rescue, for help, even just food," said one of the residents. Gwendolyn Peng, the head of the Philippines Red Cross, said more than 200,000 displaced people have sought refuge in evacuation centers so far. Over 160 domestic and international flights were also cancelled at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. According to the state weather agency, the rain would continue into Wednesday. In 2009, Tropical Storm Ketsana flooded 80 percent of the capital, killing 460 people.