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Heavy Rain Floods Manila

Residents wade through a flooded street during Tropical storm Fung-Wong in Pasay city, metro Manila, September 19, 2014.

A tropical storm has dumped heavy rain on the Philippine capital of Manila, forcing the closure of government offices, schools and government offices.

Thousands of residents in low-lying areas were moved to higher ground, officials said, as flood waters rose quickly after the equivalent of half a month's usual rain fell in six hours.

More than 20,000 people were evacuated in the city of Marikina in eastern metropolitan Manila, where the river swelled and reached a critical level, the city government said.

“We could be trapped in our homes, so we needed to evacuate,” said Catherine Otares, mother of three.

Local authorities sent rubber boats and amphibious vehicles to rescue residents from their waterlogged homes, as floods were past head-deep in some areas.

“A lot of people were asking for help, since last night. It was raining hard, and the water levels were going up, so we needed to respond,” rescuer Jeremy Gatchang said.

The Philippine Stock Exchange suspended trade after the government cancelled work and classes in the capital.

Tropical storm Fung-Wong, with maximum winds of 50 mph and gusts of up to 62 mph, was hovering about 130 miles east of Casiguran town in northern Aurora province. Northern provinces were under storm alert, and told to expect rains with gusty winds.

Forecasters predicted that Tropical Storm Fung-Wong would sweep across the central Philippines on Friday before moving into the South China Sea.

Material for this report came from Reuters.