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Flood threat sparks evacuation alert

Dam at critical level as heavy rain soaks Manila

Flood threat sparks evacuation alert
A pedestrian crosses a flooded street in Metro Manila (Photo by Joe Torres) reporter, Manila

July 3, 2012

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Authorities advised residents in low-lying areas in Metro Manila to evacuate to higher ground today after heavy rain raised water levels in a nearby dam to a critical point. The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration's, in a red alert, warned that the volume of rain recorded over La Mesa Dam in Quezon City was continuing to rise and that heavy rain was forecast throughout the day. La Mesa is a spill dam where water will overflow at 80.15 meters. The water level at the dam as of 11 a.m. local time today was 79.52 meters, officials said. The Department of National Defense has already issued an "Imminent Flood Alert" after flood waters rose in several parts of Metro Manila. At least two people are reported to have died and two were injured after a wall collapsed on two houses in the suburb of Valenzuela. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said roads in several parts of Luzon Island were already impassable to light vehicles. The Department of Education has closed schools in the capital. Authorities are also warning of flash floods and landslides in other parts of the country over the next 24 hours. The alert meanwhile prompted an environmental group to call for the introduction of typhoon and flood drills in the capital. Frances Quimpo, secretary general of the Kalikasan (Nature) Party said the "haphazard way classes were cancelled this morning is just one sign that warning systems are not fully adequate." He added: “What we need is a flood drill before heavy rains and typhoons come to try and safeguard lives and property." Related stories Number of missing after Mindanao flood rises to 61 Two million Filipinos affected by floods

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