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The Philippines has appealed for international assistance following the worst
flooding in more than 40 years. At least 140 people have been killed
as a result of the heavy rains and, as the death toll from the disaster
continues to rise, the
government has been overwhelmed by its scale.
The Philippine government is scrambling to provide shelter, food and
basic supplies for hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the
Tropical storm Ketsana brought torrential rains to the
northern Philippines Saturday, inundating most of the capital Manila
and surrounding provinces. Surging water washed away buildings and
cars. Scores of people were killed and many are still missing.
Gloria Arroyo called the disaster an "extreme event" that has strained
the government's capabilities to the limit. She said rescue efforts
will continue until all residents are accounted for.
after the flooding, rescue and relief operations continue to be
hampered by the lack of rubber boats and helicopters. Many victims are
demanding answers from local authorities for the lack of advance
warning and the slow response to the emergency. Victims said they were
stranded on their rooftops for hours before help arrived.
Flood waters in some areas subsided Monday but thousands of homes are still without power.
government has appealed for international humanitarian assistance.
Vilma Cabrera, assistant secretary of the Philippine Social Welfare
Department, said Monday her agency needs donations of basic necessities.
now we need mats, blankets, mosquito nets, cooking utensils. We need
hygiene kits and we need flashlights and lighting equipment," said Cabrera.
People have been warned about the danger of water-borne diseases. Schools are closed until Tuesday and many offices remain shut.
lash the Philippines every year and tropical Storm Ketsana was not one
of the strongest, but it brought very large amounts of rain. In
Manila Saturday, a month's worth of rain fell in 12 hours.