People Still Stuck on Roofs in Flooded Manila

Country overwhelmed as floods recede slightly
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2012 6:51 AM CDT
People Still Stuck on Roofs in Flooded Manila
People cross a flooded area in Marikina City, east of Manila, Philippines, on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012.   (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

With half of Manila underwater, monsoon rains that have deluged the Philippines since Sunday are giving it a bit of a rest, allowing rescuers enough respite to pluck trapped residents from their perches. "We're still in rescue mode," says the nation's disaster response chief, calling the capital a "water world." "Floods are receding in many areas, but people are still trapped on their roofs." The waters have so far claimed 23 lives, affected 1.2 million, and displaced 783,000, reports the AP.

Some 130 rescuers arrived in Manila today to bolster existing crews as they used boats to wind their way down streets, but crews are overwhelmed, food and water are scarce, and the flooding is far from limited to the capital. "In some areas, I could not tell the sea from the flooded villages," says the disaster chief after an aerial tour. And with up to three major storms in the forecast this month, the nation is far from out of the woods. But for now, a moment of respite: "We may see the sun tomorrow," says a forecaster. (More Philippines stories.)

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