Residents and motorists manoeuver along a flooded main street in Manila yesterday. -AFP
At least three people died and six were missing after a major storm caused widespread flooding in and around the Philippine capital on Tuesday, forcing schools, government offices and businesses to shut down. The tropical depression, which left some people wading through chest-deep waters outside Manila, was the latest to hit the Southeast Asian archipelago, which endures about 20 such storms each year.
Most of the dead and missing was poor people forced to live in identified danger zones despite government warnings of the risks they face during storms. Our local authorities had continuously warned them that their place was really prone to landslides but they insisted on staying, said civil defense officer Ronnie Mateo after the rain caused a landslide that fatally buried two teenage brothers just east of Manila.
A 12-year-old girl drowned in a rain-swollen river in a Manila suburb, city officials said. The storm, locally codenamed Maring, hit the eastern town of Mauban before moving northwest across the main island of Luzon and passing just beside Manila, the government weather station said. In Calamba City south of Manila a flash flood washed away a riverside shanty, leaving six inhabitants including a two-year-old missing.
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