60% of Manila roads submerged in floods

By Jon Carlos Rodriguez, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Aug 08 2012 06:47 PM | Updated as of Aug 09 2012 05:26 AM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Late afternoon rains pounded the Philippine capital of Manila Wednesday, leaving 60% of its roads submerged and placing the entire city under a state of calamity.

Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim said torrential rains late in the afternoon caused massive floods that snarled traffic and rendered roads impassable. Parts of Manila, including city hall, have also experienced power outages since Tuesday.

The mayor has suspended work at city hall as well as classes in public and private school schools in all levels Thursday, August 9. He said he has yet to decide if classes will also be suspended Friday.

Lim said the declaration of a state of calamity will allow barangay chairmen to make use of their funds to help their displaced constituents.

Elsewhere, officials declared a state of calamity in 7 Metro Manila cities due to massive floods. The 7 are Pasig, Pasay, Pateros, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela and Muntinlupa.

Manila experienced torrential rainfall (30 to 50 millimeters per hour) late Wednesday afternoon after state weather bureau PAGASA raised a red warning signal over Metro Manila at 4:30 p.m.

Heavy to intense rainfall (15-30mm/hr) was recorded over the areas of Pasig, CAMANAVA, Taguig and Pasay while the rest of Metro Manila experienced moderate to heavy rainfall (7.5-15mm/hr).

Weather forecasters said more than 70 centimeters (27 inches) of rain -- well over the average for all of August -- had fallen in 48 hours, and warned of more to come overnight Wednesday.