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Thousands evacuated as floods threaten Manila

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Philippine authorities have moved thousands of residents in the capital, Manila, out of low-lying communities as heavy monsoon rains, compounded by a tropical storm, flooded the city and nearby provinces.

The national disaster agency said about 15,000 people, most of them from a flood-prone Manila suburb, had moved into evacuation centres.

“We decided to evacuate early,” said Luzviminda Tayson, 61.

“We don’t want the waters to rise and be caught,” said Tayson, one of about 2900 evacuees who were reminded to practise physical distancing as they took refuge in a primary school in Marikina city.

Harsh weather has hit nearly all corners of the globe in recent weeks, bringing floods to China, India and Western Europe and heat waves to North America, heightening fears about the impact of climate change.

In some parts of the Philippine capital region, an urban sprawl of more than 13 million people, flood waters waters rose waist-high in places and cut off roads to light vehicles.

The Philippines is also grappling with one of the worst outbreaks of COVID-19 in Asia and has tightened curbs to prevent the spread of the more infectious Delta variant.

With more than 1.54 million cases and 27,131 deaths, the Philippines has the second highest number of COVID-19 infections and fatalities in Southeast Asia, after Indonesia.

-with AAP