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'Habagat' death toll rises to 60, more than 2 million people affected

The Angono Municipal Gymnasium in Rizal province where more than 300 families have sought shelter from floods. (photo by Mark Fredesjed R. Cristino,
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATE 2 - 9:14 a.m.) The death toll from the torrential rains and widespread flooding that inundated Metro Manila and neighboring regions for most of the week has risen to 60, mostly from drowning, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported.

The deaths include nine members of a family who were buried in a landslide that buried five houses in Quezon City early this week.

Seven other persons remain missing.

The NDRRMC said the extreme weather brought by the southwest monsoon or “habagat” affected 539,838 families, or 2,442,135 persons, in 1,849 villages in 144 municipalities and 31 cities in 16 provinces of Regions 1 (Ilocos), 3 (Central Luzon), 4-A (CALABARZON), 4-B (MIMAROPA), 6 (Western Visayas) and Metro Manila. The floods also damaged 3,116 houses.

It added that 66,577 families, or 314,795 persons, remain in 630 evacuation centers, 351 of these in 17 cities of Metro Manila alone.

More than a month's worth of rain was dumped on Manila in 48 hours at the start of the week, leaving about 80 percent of Metro Manila underwater and flooding vast areas to the north of the capital region.

In an interview on TV5's Good Morning Club, Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman said Malabon has the most number of evacuation centers, followed by Quezon City, Manila, Marikina and Pasig.

Soliman appealed for donations for relief operations, saying that, aside from food, the evacuees also need mats and blankets, clean water and toilets.

Ninety-five cities and towns in the National Capital Region and in Regions 1, 3 and 4-A were hit by severe flooding.

In Metro Manila, local governments declared a state of calamity over Marikina, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela, Muntinlupa, San Juan, Pasig, Pasay, Caloocan and Pateros.

States of calamity were also declared in, Bataan, Pampanga, Zambales and Bulacan in Region 3; Laguna in Region 4-A; and Culion, El Nido and Linacapan in Palawan province, the NDRRMC reported. (with Agence France-Presse)