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Philippine churches mobilize aid for flood victims

Days of rain in Manila, surrounding provinces force thousands to flee

Joe Torres, Manila

Joe Torres, Manila

Published: August 16, 2016 10:57 AM GMT
Philippine churches mobilize aid for flood victims

A man helps a child cross a flooded road in the Philippine capital Manila. (Photo by Vincent Go)

Catholic parishes have launched relief efforts after thousands of people fled floods caused by days of unrelenting monsoon rains in the Philippine capital Manila and surrounding provinces.

Manila Archdiocese has mobilized its social action office to prepare food packs and hygiene kits for people in the worst affected areas.

Caritas Manila, the archdiocese's social action arm, has already sent initial help to some 250 individuals who lost their homes to a fire after a tornado hit the urban poor district of Tondo.

Father Benedict Cervantes, social action director of Kalookan Diocese, said his office is also monitoring the situation in other parts of the country.

"We continue to assess the effects of the rains and the floods," said the priest.

In San Fernando Archdiocese in Pampanga province, at least 1,000 people were evacuated to the provincial capital after floodwaters rose in low-lying areas of at least five towns.

Father Rei Paglinawan of Cubao Diocese urged parishioners to provide help to those affected by the flooding.

The floods have so far left at least five people dead.

Civil defense officials warned residents in Manila and nearby provinces to expect more heavy rain in coming days.

"We are expecting more low-lying areas to experience flooding," said Romina Marasigan of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

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As of Aug. 16, some 80,467 people were affected by the flooding. At least 50,592 individuals were in 104 evacuation centers around the country.

"Let us remain vigilant because this is expected to continue this week," said Ricardo Jalad of the Office of Civil Defense.



 A street in the capital Manila is inundated after days of heavy monsoon rains. (Photo by Vincent Go)

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