Flood warnings issued as storm intensifies in Philippines

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Manila, July 20 (IANS) Philippines was on alert on Friday as tropical storm Ampil intensified, leading to fears of heavy rainfall, extensive flooding and landslides, according to the country’s meteorological agency.

Several provinces including Zambales, Metro Manila, Rizal, Laguna, Cavite and Bataan were flooded on Friday as a result of heavy downpour on Thursday night, Efe news quoted the Philippine meteorological agency PAGASA as saying.

In its latest bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) maintained a yellow alert in these areas as intense rains and flooding in lower areas are expected in the next few hours.

These areas had experienced flooding between Tuesday and Wednesday as a result of rains from another tropical storm, Son Tinh, which led to an evacuation of 8,000 people across the country.

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In Manila, the authorities are monitoring the situation on the banks of Marikina river where the water has reached a height of 16 m. The residents have been helped to evacuate voluntarily.

Ampil, which has intensified in the last few hours, will exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Saturday morning, when the weather is expected to improve.

On Friday morning, Ampil was around 995 km from Batanes Island, the northernmost island of the Philippines and was moving in the northwest direction at a speed of 15 kmph.

According to PAGASA, the storm has sustained winds of 85 kmph with gusts of up to 105 kmph.

–IANS

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