Philippines flood deaths climb to 60Agence France-Presse . Apalit, Philippines
Thousands more Philippine flood victims crammed into evacuation centres on Friday as waist-high water covered vast farming regions and the death toll from a week of misery rose to 60.
The flooding that submerged 80 per cent of Manila early in the week has largely subsided, allowing people to return to their homes, but vital rice-growing areas to the north remained under water as more rain fell there.
‘We need something to eat. I haven’t gone to work or been paid for a week,’ said Rogelio Soco, a construction worker and father-of-three in the small farming town of Apalit, about 60 kilometres from Manila.
Soco, 60, said the floods, which began on Monday, were the worst the area had seen since a huge typhoon struck in the early 1970s, and other locals also said they had not experienced anything like it for decades.
Around Apalit, formerly green rice paddies had been turned into an enormous inland ocean of brown water.
Rice farmer Pablo Torres, 58, said his two-hectare field planted last month had likely been destroyed, and dozens of people in his community had suffered the same fate.
‘We will have to do it all over again... we have lost a lot of money here,’ he said.
Nearly two weeks of monsoon rains across the Philippines’ main island of Luzon peaked with a 48-hour deluge earlier this week that battered Manila and surrounding regions.
The government’s disaster co-ordination council said Friday that 60 people had been confirmed killed in this week’s floods, triple the number on Thursday.
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