Flood-battered residents of Manila are fleeing homes or sitting on rooftops with relentless monsoon rains, which have killed seven people, submerging more than half the Philippine capital.


Streets turned into rivers with water above two-metres in some parts of the megacity of 12 million people on Tuesday.

More than 130,000 of them have been displaced and countless others have been forced to wait out the storm in or on their homes.

“We have had nothing to eat, nothing to wear. A few people went to houses on higher ground, but most of us had nowhere to go,” Dinah Claire Velasco, 44, a resident of a blue-collar coastal district on the outskirts of Manila told AFP.

“My children and other people were able to seek refuge on the second floor of my house but a lot of others had to just sit on their roofs.

“We’re waiting for rescue, for help, even just food.”

At least 60 per cent of Manila was flooded on Tuesday morning, with some places enduring waters climbing as high as 2.1 metres, an official with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority said.

In one part of the capital, 47.5 centimetres of rain fell in the 24 hours to Monday morning, according to Esperanza Cayanan, a meteorologist in charge of Manila for the state weather forecaster.

She said this was the same amount that normally falls for all of August, already one of the wettest months of the year.

In a potentially serious escalation the Marikina River, a key waterway cutting through eastern Manila, began to overflow on Tuesday afternoon, and 20,000 people close by were ordered to evacuate, the local mayor, Del de Guzman, said.

These people were additional to the 131,000 people across the main island of Luzon, including Manila, that the government said were in evacuation centres or seeking shelter with relatives and friends.

Groups involved in the rescue effort said they were being overwhelmed.

“We are getting a lot of calls for rescue … we would really be hard pressed to rescue all of them,” a Philippine Red Cross official told a government briefing broadcast on national television.

While no-one has been reported killed in Manila, four more people have drowned in flooded farming provinces to the north.

This brings the confirmed toll from two days of flooding across Luzon to seven.

The economic cost has also started to grow, with the stock exchange, government offices and schools in Manila closed for a second consecutive day.

Many domestic and some international flights at Manila’s airport have been cancelled. Flooded roads to the airport are impassable.

The state weather agency says the rain will ease on Wednesday.

7 dead as heavy rains pummel Philippines