2 dead, 6 missing in flood-hit Luzon

(UPDATED) Tropical depression Ferdie has exited the Philippines, the state weather bureau says

MANILA, Philippines – Two people were killed and 6 others are missing as floods caused by tropical depression “Ferdie” inundated parts of Metro Manila and nearby areas, authorities said Saturday, July 21.

The Office of Civil Defense said rescuers are on standby to help residents evacuate if necessary as creeks and open sewers in the capital overflowed from overnight rains, swamping nearby slums and causing traffic jams.

The rains began to ease by midday after plunging some areas in knee-deep waters, but civil defense chief Benito Ramos said he could not rule out further flooding as runoff from nearby mountains descends into Manila Bay.

“All that rain up there would eventually find their way here,” he told AFP, referring to the mountains to the east of Manila.

“We have CCTV cameras to monitor the (Manila) rivers’ water levels, and we have 44 evacuation centres ready and stocked with food and other items by our local government units,” Ramos said.

Army reservists would be called up to help should evacuations become necessary, he said, while stressing there was no need for large-scale evacuations at the moment.

Local officials in the metropolis of 14 million declared a school holiday as intense rains that Ramos said averaged 30 millimeters (1.2 inches) per hour swamped parts of the capital and nearby areas.

The state weather service said the rainfall exceeded 40 millimeters in some areas.

Ramos said a man had drowned at a swollen creek in the northern town of Naguilian while rescuers retrieved the body of a man who fell into a river late Friday in Lumban, near Manila.

Four fishermen are missing in stormy waters off the northern town of Bolinao, while two children were missing after being swept away in other rivers, he added.

State weather bureau Pagasa said Ferdie exited the country Saturday night, with storm warning signals lowered in all parts of the Philippines. – With Agence France-Presse


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