New deluge hits Philippine capital

New deluge hits Philippine capital

A fresh deluge forced more evacuations along fast-rising rivers in the Philippine capital today as the city and surrounding areas struggled to deal with widespread flooding triggered by nearly two weeks of rain.

Even though the weather was gradually improving, the number of displaced people was still rising, to nearly 300,000 in 500 evacuation centres.

Rescuers on rubber boats floated down flooded streets to reach thousands of residents marooned in submerged houses along the hardest-hit Maritkina River.

A fresh downpour pounded Manila last night, feeding the already-saturated waterways that flow into the network of rivers criss-crossing the coastal city of 12 million people.

The flooding, the worst since 2009, has rattled the nerves of thousands of people who had to be evacuated for the second time in as many days after returning home following a brief respite from rains yesterday.

Government forecasters said the weather would continue to improve throughout the day.

At least 23 people have died since Sunday, including nine in a landslide in a hillside slum in Quezon City and several others who drowned in outlying provinces.

Classes were suspended this week as cities declared a state of calamity, and government offices were slowly reopening. The US Embassy remained closed today.

The national disaster response agency said nearly two million people were affected by the floods, which submerged half of Manila at one point.

Manila was drenched with more than half of a month’s worth of rain in 24 hours starting on Monday.

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