Tropical storm hits Philippine capital ahead of exit

Tropical storm hits Philippine capital ahead of exit


Rescue workers scrambled to save residents trapped by flooding in and around the Philippine capital on Sunday as Tropical Storm Nalgae left the country after killing at least 48 people.

Several neighborhoods in cities outside of Manila remained submerged after the storm raged across the main island of Luzon overnight, cutting power and causing damage.

The death toll from the storm rose to 48, the national disaster agency said on Sunday, most of them due to a series of flash floods and landslides that destroyed villages on the southern island of Mindanao on Friday.

In Paranaque, a Manila suburb, rescue workers swam through 10-foot flood water overnight to reach 60 people, including children, who were stranded in an upper floor of a building, a local official said.

“They were screaming and crying in panic because they really have no way out” after flood waters rose as they attended a party, village chief Noel Japlos told AFP.

“We didn’t expect the water to rise so high. If we couldn’t save them all, some of them might have died,” he added.

Video footage taken by the rescue team showed rescuers in life jackets leading them out of the building with a rope while children were placed on makeshift floats.

In the nearby town of Kawit, a body in a white coffin was floating on a flooded street, an AFP photographer saw.

Local residents said a flash flood probably carried it away from a nearby cemetery overnight.

Kawit residents who emerged from the receding floods cleaned up and tried to dry their wet belongings.

“It’s so difficult because we can’t move because of the flood and we have a two-month-old baby who can’t sleep because there’s no electricity,” Andinor Cairme, a street sweeper, told AFP.

The storm weakened slightly as it swept into the South China Sea, the state meteorologist said.

Port operations have also slowly resumed as thousands of stranded passengers travel in time for Tuesday’s All Saints’ Day holiday, when millions of Filipinos visit relatives’ graves.

The civil defense agency said 22 people were missing and 40 injured, with bridges, roads and crops also destroyed.

An average of 20 typhoons and storms hit the Philippines annually, killing hundreds each year and leaving much of the country in perpetual poverty.

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