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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Flooding in Manila 106 Dead and Counting in Worst storm in 42 Years


Tropical Storm Ketsana is roaring through the Philippines and leaving chaos in its' wake. Philippine officials are reporting at least 106 people dead or missing as a result of the flooding in Manila.

Tropical Storm Ketsana battered the northern Philippines near Manila on Saturday, pouring torrential amounts of rain in just 12 hours consequently setting off the worst flooding in the Philippine capital in more than 42 years.

Philipino Woman finds safety from 2009 Manila Flood on Mattress

Philipine Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro reports army troops, police and civilian volunteers rescued more than 5,000 people - many of them were found feverishly holding onto each other as they sat on roofs and on top of buses after Tropical Storm Ketsana hit the Philipines on Saturday.

Among those dead as a result of Tropical Storm Ketsana, an Army soldier and four militiamen drowned while trying to rescue villagers in southern Laguna province.

Rescuers increased their efforts on Sunday as the skies over Manila started to clear and the rain started to let up.

The Philipine government declared a State of Emergency in metropolitan Manila and 25 storm-hit provinces, allowing Philipine officials to utilize emergency funds for the relief and rescue efforts over Tropical Storm Ketsana. Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro said.

Philipine Emergency workers are busy carrying bodies on makeshift stretchers in Marikina. One rescuer was seen lifting the small body of a child covered in mud.

A burm of mud provides resting spot for survivors of 2009 Mainla Flood 106 and counting were not so lucky

Distress calls and e-mails from thousands of residents in metropolitan Manila and their worried relatives flooded TV and radio stations overnight.

Ketsana swamped entire towns, set off landslides and shut down Manila's airport for several hours.

Military Chief General Victor Ibrado, accompanied by journalists, flew over several suburban Manila towns on Sunday on board air force helicopters and saw many people still waiting to be rescued on roofs of their houses in flooded villages.

The sun shone briefly in Manila on Sunday and showed the extent of devastation in many neighborhoods - destroyed houses, overturned vans and cars, and streets and highways covered in debris and mud.

"The water was rolling and everything happened in a flash, every minute it was rising. So I said to myself if this reaches the second floor of our house then a lot of people here would die," said resident Ronald Manlangit after watching the flood water rapidly rise up the side of his home.

The 16.7 inches of rain that swamped metropolitan Manila in just 12 hours on Saturday exceeded the 15.4-inch average for September, Cruz said, adding that the rainfall broke the previous record of 13.2 inches in a 24-hour period in June 1967.

Those fleeing the Tropical Storm Ketsana flood waters in Manila carry make shift Inner tubes life preservers

Rubbish-choked drains and waterways, along with high tide, compounded the problem, officials said.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo had to take an elevated commuter train to the disaster council office to preside over a meeting Saturday because roads were clogged by vehicles stuck in the floodwaters.

Ketsana, which packed winds of 53 miles per hour with gusts of up to 63 mph, hit land early on Saturday then roared across the main northern Luzon island toward the South China Sea.

Associated Press contributed to this article

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