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600,000 affected by Maring, monsoon rains

Office workers cross a flooded street using makeshift floats during heavy rain at the financial district of Makati, south of Manila, Philippines on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013. Flooding caused by some of the Philippines' heaviest rains on record submerged more than half the capital Tuesday, turning roads into rivers and trapping tens of thousands of people in homes and shelters. The government suspended all work except rescues and disaster response for a second day. (MNS photo)

Office workers cross a flooded street using makeshift floats during heavy rain at the financial district of Makati, south of Manila, Philippines on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013. Flooding caused by some of the Philippines’ heaviest rains on record submerged more than half the capital Tuesday, turning roads into rivers and trapping tens of thousands of people in homes and shelters. The government suspended all work except rescues and disaster response for a second day. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Aug 20 (Mabuhay) — More than 125,000 families or 600,000 individuals have so far been affected by three days of heavy downpour caused by monsoon rains enhanced by Tropical Storm Maring, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said Tuesday.

Based on reports sent by DSWD field offices as of Tuesday 6 a.m., 125,024 families or 601,114 persons from 503 barangays, 50 towns, 22 cities, and 15 provinces in the Philippines have been affected by the inclement weather.

At a press briefing of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in Camp Aguinaldo, Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman said at least 199 evacuation centers were set up nationwide serving 9,153 families or 40,740 individuals.

Others affected have taken refuge with relatives or friends, Soliman said.

According to the DSWD, the region with the most affected families (85,698) and most affected persons (408,217) was Region III; followed by Region IV-A (26,120 families or 130,119 persons); Region I (6,578 families or 32,265 persons); National Capital Region (6,158 families or 28,918 persons); Region IV-B (204 families or 1,020 persons); and CAR (266 families or 575 persons).

The DSWD said there was a “remarkable increase” in CALABARZON areas with 11,922 families or 60,877 persons based on last night’s report of 14,198 families or 69,242 persons.

Soliman said the most number of affected residents were from Cavite, where 32 evacuation centers have been set up.

“Batay na rin ho sa ulat ng PAGASA, madadagdagan ho yung nasa Region 3, dahil ‘dun ho lumalaki yung tubig, inaasahan namin lalong lalo na sa Bataan at Zambales,” Soliman said.

She added that cost of assistance for evacuees amount to P4.4 million — P1.7 million from national funds while P2.7 million from local government.

Soliman added that they have delivered 5,000 food packs in National Capital Region and another 5,000 in Region IV-A.

“Hindi po tayo nakukulangan ng supply at pagrerepack nang kakailanganin, so sa kasalukuyan, nag-o-organize kami kasama na ang military at ng private sector trucks to deliver 10,000 food packs,” Soliman said.

A Red Cross official, at a press briefing, said their office is receiving a lot of calls for rescue, and appealed to those still in their houses to go to evacuation centers where assistance can be given to them.

The Red Cross is focusing its rescue efforts in Cavite, Laguna, Paranaque, Las Pinas, Quezon City, and Bataan where serious cases of flooding were reported, the worst being in Dinalupihan, Bataan, the Red Cross official said.

The Office of Civil Defense-NCR said floods as high as seven feet were reported in Pasay City, while the creek at Araneta Avenue in Quezon City had overflowed, causing severe flooding.

In a text message to reporters, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda quoted Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas as saying that President Benigno Aquino III has been “closely monitoring the situation.”

“The various Cabinet secretaries are giving him regular updates even as the President has instructed all appropriate agencies to mobilize government resources,” Lacierda said.

According to the DSWD, P120.64 million worth of emergency relief resources has already been prepositioned in all affected regions, which includes a standby fund of P15.72 million; P15 million worth of family food packs; and P89.9 million worth of other food and non-food items. (MNS)

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