Thousands of residents have fled flooded communities and swollen rivers in the Philippine capital Manila and outlying provinces after days of torrential monsoon rains that left at least one villager dead.
Authorities say they are fighting to open more emergency shelters to allow for social distancing among displaced residents and prevent evacuation camps from becoming epicenters of Covid-19 infections. In the heavily affected capital city of Marikina, nearly 15,000 residents were evacuated to safety overnight when floodwaters rose alarmingly in a major river.
“This situation will be too difficult if there is no permanent solution to the floods, especially now with the threat of the Delta. [Covid] variant ”, the mayor of Marikina, Marcelino Teodoro, told local media.
Teodoro blamed years of illegal logging in the nearby mountains and dense sedimentation in the Marikina River for the constant flooding in his city.
In the mountainous northern city of Baguio, a resident died Friday afternoon after the taxi he was riding in was struck by a falling tree, police said. The northern Philippines has been flooded by days of monsoon rains that flooded low-lying villages and caused minor landslides.
Typhoon In-fa, which hit the country’s east coast and dumped rain over Taiwan before blowing into China, intensified the seasonal downpours, forecasters said.
A cargo ship capsized after being hit by strong waves on Saturday near a port in the town of Pio Duran in Albay province, southeast of Manila. Its 10 crew members were rescued by police, firefighters and villagers, who used a long rope to bring the overturned boat closer to shore.
Coast guard personnel rescued several residents trapped in their homes by rising floodwaters on Friday in the city of Naujan in Oriental Mindoro province, south of Manila.