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Four dead in Philippine floods
by Staff Writers
Manila (AFP) June 9, 2011

At least four people drowned after heavy flooding in large areas of the rain-soaked Philippines, authorities said Thursday, with some of the waters up to chest height.

Over-flowing rivers swamped coastal population centres on the major southern island of Mindanao, causing all the known fatalities, rescuers said, and Manila was also under threat.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in the capital said 19 towns were under floodwater after heavy rains driven by a storm began falling on Monday.

"The water in some parts were chest-deep," said Nasser Mastura, vice governor of Maguindanao province that is among those heavily inundated.

"We have removed thousands to safer grounds," he said on local television, without giving exact numbers.

The government declared a school holiday in Manila and in some nearby suburbs Thursday, while a number of domestic flights to tiny provincial airports were either delayed or cancelled due to the stormy weather.

The La Mesa dam, Manila's lone tap water reservoir, was about to overflow, triggering official warnings that nearby residents could be asked to evacuate if the heavy rains continued.

"We are expected to have continuing heavy rains today until late tomorrow," said Robert Sawi, a senior state weather forecaster.

He said the rains were caused by a tropical depression at sea to the southwest of the main island of Luzon.

The weather disturbance was however not likely to develop into a full-blown typhoon and was forecast to blow off toward southern China by Friday, he said.

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China floods kill 52 as 100,000 flee homes
Beijing (AFP) June 8, 2011
Floods triggered by torrential rain in southern and central China have killed 52 people and forced more than 100,000 to flee their homes, state media reported Wednesday. Another 32 people were missing in the floods which have inundated parts of 12 provinces since the start of June, Shu Qingpeng, deputy head of the Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters, told a conferen ... read more

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