Rains, floods bring death, destruction to PH

By Dharel Placido, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Aug 20 2013 10:31 AM | Updated as of Aug 21 2013 02:53 AM

Residents stay on their roofs in Biñan, Laguna as the water near the river in between barangays San Vicente and Sto. Niño submerge their houses in this photo by Bayan Patroller Christian Esguerra. A state of calamity has been declared in several areas in Laguna after intense rains overnight. Photo from Bayan Mo iPatrol Mo

MANILA (UPDATE) – Torrential rain relentlessly battered the flood-soaked Philippine capital and surrounding farming areas on Tuesday, raising this week's monsoon death toll to 7.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said four more people drowned, bringing the death toll to 7.

The drowning victims were 3-year-old Jeric Sorgello of Mariveles, Bataan; 11-month-old Jian Charles Centeno of Malolos, Bulacan; 1-year-old Justin Viray of Minalin, Pampanga and 64-year-old Renato Roman Lacsamana of Lubao, Pampanga.

The first three fatalities were identified as 30-year-old Franco Pedrito Cawayan, who died in a vehicular accident in Cabugao, Apayao; 39-year-old Celedenonio Gamban, who drowned in Tanza, Cavite; and five-year-old Austin Guarismo Betasolo who was hit by a collapsed concrete fence in Binangonan, Rizal.

The deluge, caused by the combined effects of tropical storm "Maring" and the enhanced southwest monsoon (habagat), left 11 people wounded and 4 missing.

At least 125,024 families or 601,104 individuals, most of whom came from Central Luzon and Calabarzon, have been affected by strong rains and floods.

Some 64 roads in Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Cordillera Administrative Region and National Capital Region (NCR) were still impassable due to floods as of Tuesday morning.

Schools and government offices in Manila and many neighboring regions were closed for a second consecutive day, as floods swelled high into urban as well as rural homes.

The state weather agency warned the rain would continue through Tuesday, issuing its top level red alert for Manila and neighboring provinces.

The red alert means "serious flooding" is likely in low-lying areas, and more than three centimeters (1.8 inches) of rain is expected every hour.

The Southeast Asian archipelago endures about 20 major storms or typhoons annually, generally in the second half of the year and many of them deadly. With Agence France-Presse