• 5 people dead amid heavy rains

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    FIVE people died and more than 70,000 others were affected due to monsoon rains in Metro Manila, Luzon and parts of the Visayas and Mindanao, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported on Sunday.

    In Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog, Western Visayas, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), Negros Island and Metro Manila, a total of 15,665 families composed of 70,266 persons were affected by the continuous rains, the council said.

    Of the said figure, 5,139 families or 24,225 persons were still in 52 evacuation centers.

    Homes were damaged and two were totally destroyed as a result of flooding in the municipalities of Pontevedra and Pulupandan in Negros Occidental.

    Civil defense officials warned residents of Metro Manila and nearby provinces to expect more heavy seasonal rain over the coming days.

    “We are expecting more low-lying areas to experience flooding,” council spokeswoman Romina Marasigan told AFP.

    “Those who are already in evacuation centers should stay there until the weather improves,” she added.

    Those evacuated include nearly 9,000 Manila residents displaced by flooding from the Marikina River on Saturday.

    The council said three Manila slum residents were crushed to death Saturday by walls that collapsed in the floods.

    A man drowned crossing a swift-flowing river on the central island of Panay on Wednesday, it said, while the authorities retrieved a body from a Manila canal on Friday—the cause of death is under investigation.

    A fisherman went missing at sea off the central island of Marinduque early last week, while a man was injured by falling rocks at a highway east of Manila on Friday.

    The NDRRMC operation center’s alert level was raised to “Red” effective 5 p.m. Saturday.

    Disaster mitigation teams in affected regions were advised to continue to take all precautionary measures and be ready to with rescue and emergency response units, and warn residents to evacuate to safer grounds and undertake preemptive evacuation whenever necessary, especially in landslide or flood-prone areas.

    The Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, the Philippine Coast Guard and the Bureau of Fire Protection have been tapped to conduct humanitarian assistance and disaster response.

    The military was also instructed to ensure availability of vehicles and air assets.

    In Metro Manila, the Joint Task Force-NCR has deployed 10 M-35 trucks to Marikina to assist the local disaster mitigation teams in evacuation of displaced families and distribution of relief goods.

    The western section of the Philippines has been swamped by heavy rain over the past week, forcing the cancellation of some domestic commercial flights and the suspension of classes.

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