Friday, November 20, 2009

Still Screwed-- Parts Of Manila Remain Flooded

Flood misery lingers in storm-hit Philippines

after a series of devastating storms since late September, many communities in the Philippines are still badly flooded, and the government estimates it may take months for the waters to drain, reports the BBC's Daniel Vincent from Manila.

A frail Rosita Gillaco stands waist deep in the waters outside the debris that was once her home, waiting for help that may never come.
Everything she owned was destroyed in the floods that swamped her village of Palingon. Her house was submerged when Lake Laguna, south-east of Manila, overflowed.

Like many in her community, the 65-year-old prefers to live in the dirty waters that flooded much of the area around Manila than take refuge in the overcrowded evacuation centres.

"I may get relief first if I stand here. Now everything in my house is destroyed. I don't have a second floor so I just stay here," Mrs Gillaco says.

Waterborne diseases.

Palingon is one of more than 20 villages near Manila that are still under feet of water after a succession of deadly typhoons.

Many people are now living on the upper floors of their homes. Below, boats run along the flooded streets and children wade through the water, catching fish.

A bamboo bridge circling the village is now the only route to dry land.

At the current rate, authorities say it will take three to six months for the waters to recede.

Residents describe the waters rising with every new storm. Nearby Lake Laguna, the largest lake in the Philippines, is at twice its normal level and the overflow has moved on to the natural floodplain near the lake.
A planned channel from the lake to Manila Bay that would have helped drain the excess water brought by the storms was never built.

Now the threat from contaminated water may be greater than that from the weather.

The World Health Organization says it is battling serious outbreaks of waterborne diseases like Leptospirosis and acute diarrhoea, as well as respiratory infections.

Health workers say thousands of people could be affected.

Snip

By the time the flood waters recede it will be the rainy season in the PI.  Ain't global warming grand?

Source BBC News
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