Filipinos grapple as heavy rains lash country

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Manila, July 18 (IANS) Normal life was hit in the Philippines as heavy rains induced by Tropical Storm Henry continued to pound the country on Wednesday.

Residents in Manila were trying their best to stay safe and dry as the streets remained flooded from heavy monsoon rains. In Las Pinas city of southern Manila, people waded through ankle-deep water during the morning commute, Efe news reported.

The floods cut electricity services in some areas as well as mobile phone signals.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council warned of more rains in the area around the capital and Central and Northern Luzon as well as possible flooding and landslides.

The Philippines Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration warned of gale-force winds up to 63 km per hour and very rough sea conditions along the western seaboard of Central and Southern Luzon.

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People in the city who earlier moved into temporary evacuation shelters were still relying on relief goods provided by the government and waiting until the floodwaters recede so they can return to their homes.

A police officer said authorities were on alert as thieves might try to enter houses abandoned by residents who went to the shelters.

In Quezon City of northeastern Manila, hundreds of people were taking shelter in an evacuation centre in Barangay Bagong Silangan, situated near a river and regarded as flood-prone. Authorities said that around 830 people were staying in the shelter.

Local district officials provided food, blankets and sleeping mats to evacuees there.

Tropical Storm Henry made a landfall in the northern Philippines on Tuesday, brought heavy rains and floods to several areas, including Manila.

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–IANS

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