BANGKOK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Eight people died and 131,600 were evacuated as a tropical storm on top of heavy monsoon rains soaked the Philippines capital, Manila, and other parts of the main island Luzon, the United Nations’ latest report said.
More rain fell in the 24-hour period from August 18 to 19 than the average for the whole of August, forcing some 41,000 people to take shelter in 198 evacuation centres and more than double that number to take refuge with friends and relatives, the report said.
Up to 60 percent of Metro Manila was flooded on Tuesday and while the waters subsided later in the day, 20 percent of the capital remains under water, and dozens of roads in Luzon are still closed by floodwater.
The torrential rain was the result of strong southwest monsoon rains being reinforced by Tropical Storm Trami, which led to flooding and landslides in Metro Manila and 11 provinces in Luzon.
The Philippines is no stranger to storms - about 20 typhoons hit the Southeast Asian country every year, destroying tens of thousands of homes, and a 2011 United Nations survey ranked it the third most vulnerable country to natural hazards and climate change, after Vanuatu and Tonga.
Bopha was the most intense storm to hit the Philippines in 2012. It struck the southern island of Mindanao, leaving more than 1,800 dead or missing, damaging more than 210,000 homes and affecting 6 million people.