7 dead as heavy rains pummel flooded Philippines

Commuters make their way through a flooded street in the suburbs of Manila on August 20, 2013 (AFP, Jay Directo)

By Jason Gutierrez (AFP) – 20 August 2013

MANILA — Flood-battered residents of the Philippine capital fled their homes or sat on rooftops Tuesday as relentless monsoon rains, which have killed seven people, submerged more than half of Manila.

Map locating the Philippines capital where torrential rains have caused havoc for a second day (AFP/Graphics)

Streets turned into rivers with water above two-metres (seven feet) in some parts of the megacity of 12 million people, displacing more than 130,000 people and forcing countless others to wait out the storm in or on their flooded homes.

Residents try to save a motorcycle from floods in Manila on August 20, 2013 (AFP, Noel Celis)

“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,” Dinah Claire Velasco, 44, a resident of a blue-collar coastal district on the outskirts of Manila told AFP.

“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.”

A man wades through a flooded street in Manila on August 20, 2013. (AFP, Noel Celis)

At least 60 percent of Manila was flooded on Tuesday morning, with some places enduring waters climbing as high as 2.1 metres, an official with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority told the briefing.

In one part of the capital, 47.5 centimetres (18.7 inches) of rain fell in the 24 hours to Monday morning, according to Esperanza Cayanan, a meteorologist in charge of Manila for the state weather forecaster.

She said this was the same amount as which normally fell for all of August, already one of the wettest months of the year.

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