Friday, November 13, 2020

Major floods in Manila as typhoon batters Philippines

The third typhoon to hit the storm-battered Philippines in as many weeks caused major flooding in Manila on Thursday, trapping people on rooftops and claiming at least 11 lives in other parts of the country.

AFP

Typhoon Vamco packed winds of up to 155 kilometres (96 miles) per hour as it swept across the country's largest island of Luzon after making landfall overnight.

Authorities warned of landslides and potentially deadly storm surges along the coast.

Heavy rain effectively shut down Manila, the sprawling capital of 12 million people, and surrounding areas, turning streets into rivers.

Santos said the flooding caused by Vamco brought back memories of the devastating Typhoon Ketsana, known in the Philippines as Tropical Storm Ondoy, that hit in 2009 and claimed hundreds of lives.

An official from the country's Office of Civil Defense said rainfall dumped by Vamco so far was "near the volume" during Ondoy, warning that flooding could worsen as runoff from nearby mountains flowed into already swollen waterways.

The Philippine Red Cross, police, military and other rescuers used boats to reach people stranded in their homes in Marikina City, one of the hardest-hit areas of the capital, where the water in some streets was up to shoulder height.

Residents who were able to escape on foot carried pet dogs, televisions, bicycles and other belongings as they waded through the murky, debris-strewn water. 

At least 11 people died and nine others were missing, according to disaster agency reports for two regions of Luzon.

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