MANILA, Philippines — Philippine authorities on Wednesday rushed relief goods to more than 850,000 people displaced by massive floods in the capital and surrounding provinces that have killed 24 people.
Rescue teams struggled to reach hundreds still stranded by the floods in Manila and northern provinces.
The water levels receded in some parts of the capital after hours of sunshine but rose again when the rain resumed in the afternoon, with moderate-to-heavy rainfall forecast for the night ahead.
“We're still in rescue mode,” said Benito Ramos, head of the Office of Civil Defense, which oversees disaster relief efforts. “Flooding is still widespread.”
“I can't tell the sea from the floods in the coastal areas,” he added after viewing the affected zones from a helicopter. “I saw many people on their roofs or the second floor of their houses.”
The deluge, the worst since 2009 when flash floods killed hundreds in Manila, had forced 242,211 residents to flee to evacuation centers in the capital and 11 provinces, while 607,941 people had taken refuge with relatives and friends, the agency said.
Ramos said additional rescue teams were arriving from the provinces. “We are doing our best to reach everyone,” he said.
Emergency workers have used inflatable rafts, boats and amphibious vehicles to distribute relief goods and rescue people after floodwaters reached 20 feet in some areas Tuesday, turning parts of Manila into a “water world,” Ramos said.
Work in many government and private offices resumed Wednesday after being suspended the previous day, but some allowed their employees to go home earlier than usual when the rains became heavy again in the afternoon.