Floods in Philippines could last a month: official
Posted at 10/08/2011 4:04 PM | Updated as of 10/08/2011 10:50 PM
MANILA - Massive flooding in the Philippines brought about by back-to-back typhoons could last for a month even as the storms' death toll reached 95, the civil defense chief said on Saturday.
Waist-deep floods left behind by typhoons Pedring (Nesat) and Quiel (Nalgae) were being made worse by continued rain on the coastal areas north of Manila, said National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council chief Benito Ramos.
"This flooding is the effect of Nesat and Nalgae. It is still raining here so we expect at least two more weeks before (the floods) will subside, assuming it will stop raining soon," said Ramos as he inspected the flooded areas.
"If it continues to rain, it will take one month for the waters to subside," he told AFP.
More than 586,000 people were still displaced by the floods, forced from their homes by the rising waters or unsafe conditions, the disaster council said.
Pedring slammed into the northern part of the Philippines on September 27, followed by Quiel just five days later, bringing storm surges, flash floods and landslides.
The combined death toll from the two storms rose to 95 with another 34 still listed as missing, many of them washed away by floodwaters or killed during the typhoons by strong winds toppling walls and trees.
Although the storms have passed, a low pressure area has been hovering over the country, causing rain to fall on areas already inundated by the two typhoons, the government weather station said.
The head of the disaster council's reporting division, Emilia Tadeo said that relief goods were being rushed to the coastal areas despite the obstacles created by the floods.
"They are completely cut off, accessible by small boats and large trucks," she told AFP.
Damage estimates from the two storms was estimated at about P14 billion ($322 million) but Tadeo said the figure was certain to rise as local officials got a more complete picture of the devastation in their areas.
"Every day, our damage figures go up. We are still awaiting damage assessment reports from other regions," she said.