Manila flood team starts clean-up
Aug 11 2012
Philippines disaster officials shifted from rescue work to a massive clean-up of the capital on Friday following non-stop rains that left tons of muck and debris from floods littering the city.
The torrential monsoon rains that began on Sunday left at least 60 people dead in the worst flooding in Manila since 2009. More than half of the sprawling metropolis of 12 million was submerged at the peak of the floods and schools and offices closed for days.
About 2.4 million people in Manila and nearby provinces have been affected, forcing more than 360,000 to seek shelter in government-run evacuation centres, the Office of Civil Defence reported.
The sun was out for a second day on Friday and residents were hard at work fixing dishevelled homes and stores in flood-hit communities that resembled a wasteland covered with mounds of mud-caked garbage.
"It's really an eyesore when we saw it from the helicopter," said civil defence chief Benito Ramos. "There will be no more rescue. It's now 'Operation Cleanup'." He said soldiers will be mobilised to help local authorities collect the debris that have clogged streets and waterways.
Some of the displaced in still-crowded evacuation centres have begun to trickle back to their communities, where floodwaters have subsided, Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman said.
Reservists will be assigned to help repack relief supplies for people still in emergency shelters, Ramos said.
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