Manila Flood Death Toll Rises to 16 as Rain Continues

by
staff
At least 16 people have died in severe floods in the Philippine capital, Manila officials say.

Officials are now speaking about a "waterworld" in Manila

At least 16 people have died in severe floods in the Philippine capital, Manila officials say.

More than 80,000 people are taking refuge in emergency shelters, as heavy rain continues.

Soldiers and rescuers are using rubber boats to reach people stranded in their homes, but some are refusing to leave amid fears of looting.

The flooding - neck-deep in some areas of the city - forced the closure of offices and schools around the city.

In the worst reported incident, nine members of one family died after a landslide hit shanty houses in Quezon City.

More than half the amount of rain normally seen in August has fallen in the capital in 24 hours, with the head of the national disaster agency describing the situation as a "waterworld".

Looting fear

President Benigno Aquino urged for the public's co-operation, warning that the government did not have "infinite capabilities" to deal with the natural disaster.

People are stranded in homes all over the city. Soldiers, police and volunteers are using rubber boats to reach them, says the BBC's Kate McGeown in Manila. But some people are refusing to leave, scared their possessions will be taken by looters.

Officials are warning that more rain is to be expected and are urging people to consider their safety first.

Manila and the northern Philippines have suffered constant bad weather since Typhoon Saola struck just over a week ago, killing more than 50 people.

The government is better prepared this time than when typhoons hit the country previously - tens of thousands of people have been evacuated, says our correspondent.

Typhoon Ketsana hit the Philippines in September 2009, causing flooding that killed more than 400 people and Typhoon Nestat and Nalgae struck two years later, leaving more than 100 dead.

The current rain and floods is said to be the worst to hit the country since 2009. However, the state weather bureau has said that weather conditions may get better later this week.