A torrential rainstorm has flooded half of the Philippine capital of Manila, with water neck deep in some areas, and has triggered mudslides that have left at least 8 people dead.
An estimated 250-thousand people have been forced to flee their homes as schools and businesses shut down with streets turned into raging rivers.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council says the monsoon is from the leading edge of Tropical Storm Haikui that is expected to bring even more rain today and tomorrow to the region. It warns, "Expect landslides and flashfloods in mountainous areas and floods in low-lying areas."
The Australian says the head of the government disaster response agency is warning that because the soil is already saturated, even a little more rain could be dangerous. Benito Ramos adds, "Now that it's getting dark, I would like to repeat, if the rains are heavy you should be at the evacuation centres."
The BBC reports a landslide hit a neighborhood of shanty homes in Quezon City, killing eight members of one family with more people still missing. CNN says police and army reservists have been called in to assist rescue efforts to help stranded residents and search for more victims.
The Australian reports TV footage has showed rescuers using ropes to bring children and other residents to safety from flooded homes across the city. Many people trapped in their homes called radio and TV stations desperately pleading for help. "We need to be rescued," Josephine Cruz told DZMM radio, saying she was trapped in her two-storey house with 11 others including her 83-year old mother, as the water continued to rise. "We can't get out because the floodwaters are now higher than people."
President Benigno Aquino lll said after a meeting with civil defence officials,"Everybody who is supposed to do something is doing what he is supposed to do."
Officials say several main roads are impassable and power has been cut in some areas as a precaution. Dams and waterways are also being closely monitored.
A video has gone up on YouTube featuring an aerial view of Manilla during the storm and appealing for donations to the Red Cross.
CNN says the Philippines was just recovering from the effects of Tropical Storm Saola last week that left 53 people dead. In December, Tropical Storm Washi left more than 1,200 people dead after it resulted in flash floods that swept away entire villages in the southern Philippines.