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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Death toll rises from Tropical Storm Ketsana

At least 72 people have lost their loves in the flooding caused by Tropical Storm Ketsana. The storm brought a month's worth of rain within a six hours. The Philippines naming convention locally names this storm as Tropical Storm Onyok.

Video: Typhoon lashes Manila (Al Jazeera)

Scores killed in Philippines floods (Al Jazeera)

At least 72 people have been killed and 40,000 forced to flee their homes amid widespread flooding after tropical storm Ketsana lashed the Philippines.

Manila and 25 other provinces were declared by the government to be in a "state of calamity" on Saturday as heavy rains caused the worst flooding seen in the capital in some 20 years.

Five children drowned in Manila and three people were swept away by a swollen river outside the capital, local radio station DZMM reported.

The flooding in Manilla was extensive resulting in many people being stranded on their roofs. Al Jazeera reported that people were being advized to remain there until they could be rescued. Many stores were reamining open to help people and were quickly running out of food and supplies.

Manila, the Pilippine capitol, and surrounding areas were the hardest hit. As can be seen in the video above, water levels as high as a meter rushed through city streets. The death toll continues to rise as more victims are found.

Dozens dead as flooding engulfs Manila (CNN)

Flood spawned by the rainfall killed at least 75 people with at least 21 others missing, the government said.

More than 80 percent of the capital was under water that swallowed whole houses and buses.

Manila, in the island of Luzon, and the nearby province of Rizal bore the brunt of the storm.

People huddled on rooftops Sunday waiting on army helicopters to pluck them to safety. Others used ropes to wade through waist-deep muddy waters.

Power and water supply failed in some areas. Roads were rendered impassable, making rescue efforts challenging.

"Right now the challenge is to find out how many people have actually died and how many people we have to take care of in terms of people who've been displaced," said Richard Gordon, the chairman of the Philippines National Red Cross.

"We're really talking about maybe hundreds of thousands of people," with about 280,000 to 300,000 displaced in the island of Luzon alone, he said.

Tropical storm Ketsana hammers Philippines, causing deaths and massive flooding (Examiner)

More video of Manila flooding (AP)

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