Manila Flooding
MANILA FLOODING. Rescuers evacuate some residents while others return to their submerged houses in Marikina City Metro Manila last August 8. (REUTERS/Cheryl Ravelo)

MANILA — The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported that more than 1.2 million people were adversely affected by the floods in Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon.

Meanwhile, the authorities described Wednesday (July 8) the flood situation in the northern Metro Manila as still “very bad,” with the water in some areas still too deep even for trucks bringing relief goods.

During an emergency meeting of NDRRMC at Camp Aguinaldo, Philippine National Police Police Community Relations Group (PCRG) chief Director Lina Sarmiento reported to President Benigno S. Aquino III that the floods in the Camanava (Caloocan-Malabon-Navotas-Valenzuela) area had not yet subsided.

Sarmiento said rubber boats instead of trucks were used to ferry relief goods to the victims.

Many other areas in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Ilocos and Calabarzon were still unreachable by land vehicles because of flooding, Sarmiento said..

“It is important that in areas that are not passable to all vehicles where there is isolation, the DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) must monitor the supplies at evacuation centers and check if these are running low. These areas should have priority especially for amphibians and all these other craft,” Aquino said.

Government helicopters must conduct an aerial inspection of flood-devastated areas “just to make sure nobody is left isolated and not being attended to,” he said.

Because there are roads passable by vehicles and others still flooded, the President said there must a “full force” of Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to guide motorists “to be able get from point A to point B.”

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Tow trucks should also be on standby to help stalled vehicles, the President said.

He asked the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) “to speak with one voice” in the wake of conflicting weather reports.

Aquino was visibly annoyed when he received a red alert from PAGASA to prepare for heavy rains while the forecaster of NDRMMC predicted light to moderate rains.

Sarmiento reported 19 deaths caused by the downpour in the past days. The NDRRMC listed, however, only 16 fatalities.

Massive rescue operations in areas affected by floods triggered by torrential monsoon rains were in full swing. (With Manila Bulletin report)