Monday, September 28, 2009

More Natural Disasters

Philippines flood death toll rises to 140
Last Updated: Monday, September 28, 2009 | 9:12 AM ET
CBC News

People swim through flood water Sunday in suburban Pasig City, east of Manila, after a tropical storm tore through the northern Philippines. (Rey Bruna/Philippine Air Force/Associated Press)

The death toll in the massive flooding that swept the Philippine capital of Manila and nearby provinces has reached 140, officials said Monday.

Army troops, police and civilian volunteers backed by U.S. troops continue the search and rescue effort in the country, according to Defence Secretary Gilbert Teodoro.

He said 32 villagers remain missing following the flooding, which was set off after tropical storm Ketsana hit the northern portion of the country on Saturday.

Teodoro said welfare agencies have begun to provide food, shelter and medicine to more than 115,000 people since the storm hit.

The government has declared a "state of calamity" in 25 provinces and in metropolitan Manila, which has a population of about 20 million.

It's estimated that more than 430,000 people were affected by the storm.

Flood waters were fast receding, but many areas of the capital remained under water, particularly in the eastern suburbs of Manila.

The 42.4 centimetres of rain that swamped metropolitan Manila in just 12 hours on Saturday exceeded the 39.2-centimetre average for all of September, chief government weather forecaster Nathaniel Cruz said.

Teodoro said government forecasters are concerned more bad weather might be on its way. They have been monitoring a low pressure area over the Pacific Ocean that could develop into a storm, possibly hitting the country later this week.

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