Storm Floods Manila, 12 Said Dead
MANILA, Philippines (AP) _ Floodwaters rose to seven feet in suburban Manila on Monday as a storm lashed the capital area with torrential rains and strong winds. Officials said at least 12 people died.
About 6,000 families fled their homes, and schools and offices were closed in the metropolitan area. Transportation, electricity and communications services were disrupted.
The Weather Service said 20 inches of rain fell in the Manila area since the storm hit Sunday. The suburb of Las Pinas was one of the hardest hit, with floodwaters of seven feet. The storm, named Carmen, packed winds of up to 35 mph as it moved west toward the South China Sea.
The extent of damage was not fully known by Monday night because of the disrupted communications and transportation difficulties.
Metro Manila Gov. Joey Lina ordered the closure of schools, businesses and government offices.
Several incoming overseas commercial airlines flights were diverted from Manila to Cebu, 370 miles southeast of Manila.
A Philippine Navy cargo vessel rescued 2,000 people from Corregidor island on Manila Bay on Monday night. The college students and their families, among them Americans, had been stranded overnight while on a picnic 26 miles southwest of Manila.
Red Cross spokeswoman Tessie Pena said one of the deaths occurred when a woman was crushed by the collapse of her house roof in Manila. Ten deaths were in Laguna province, 50 miles southeast of Manila. Authorities had no additional details on the casualties.
Manila Mayor Mel Lopez said in a radio interview that about half of metropolitan Manila was under water. Lopez said power had been cut off for a short time to some neighborhoods as a safety measure.
Residents took shelter in schools, churches and government buildings, officials said. The Philippine navy dispatched three amphibious vessels to pick up stranded people living along Manila Bay.