Thursday, August 9, 2012

Philippines begins clean-up after monsoon rains kill scores

(Reuters) - The Philippines began a massive clean-up on Thursday after floods swept the capital and nearby provinces, forcing residents to wade through shoulder-deep waters in some places after nearly two weeks of monsoon rains killed 91 people.

Power, water and communications services were restored as floodwaters started to recede, allowing many to return home to fix their houses. Nearly 300,000 people remained in temporary shelters, disaster officials said.

"It's getting better in the capital region," Susana Cruz, regional head of the civil defence office, told reporters. "We're still distributing food and potable water to the affected communities, but we're also helping local government units in their clean-up efforts."

Schools remained shut for the third day to house displaced families. Public and private offices reopened.

The monsoon rains, which dumped about 300 mm (12 inches), or three times the daily average, from late Monday to Tuesday, were the heaviest in three years, the weather bureau said, as a typhoon lashed east China where hundreds of thousands of people had been evacuated in advance. Read More