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Floods leave half of Manila under water

Cardinal Tagle issues appeal as downpours continue

Floods leave half of Manila under water

A flooded area in Metro Manila (photo courtesy of the Philippine Air Force) reporter, Manila

August 20, 2013

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More than half of Manila lay submerged as heavy downpours caused by a southwest monsoon and made worse by Tropical Storm Trami continued to batter the Philippine capital on Tuesday.

At least seven people were reported dead with four still missing as a result of the downpours, according to the National Risk Reduction and Management Council.

Edgardo Ollet, director of the Office of Civil Defense in the National Capital Region, said 50 to 60 percent of Metro Manila is under floodwater more than two meters deep.

“We are already on heightened alert,” said Ollet, adding that rescue teams have been deployed to critical areas such as Pasay, Paranaque, Las Pinas and Manila.

Officials in Marikina have ordered the evacuation of residents as water level continued to rise.

Eduardo del Rosario, head of the disaster office in Manila, said some 125,024 families or more than half a million people have been affected by the floods.

Some 40,740 people were being housed in 199 evacuation centers.

The Department of Health, meanwhile, has gone on alert to respond to medical emergencies related to the floods.

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, archbishop of Manila, appealed for unity to meet the challenges of the disaster.

"In this time of crisis, I’m appealing to everyone, let us help one another in little or big ways to lessen the pain of those who have suffered from this bad weather," he said in a radio broadcast.

“I hope this scourge of Mother Nature will result in deep cooperation among our people to ease the pain of those who may have lost their loved ones, their properties, homes,” Tagle added.

Tagle has already ordered Caritas Manila to distribute relief goods at evacuation centers.

The archbishop also encouraged those can help to do so by sending donations to Caritas Manila, church organizations and government agencies.

The Manila prelate also took the opportunity to remind the faithful about the importance of taking care of the environment "not only during these hard times but every day of our lives."

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