Oct 02

This is another picture after typhoon Ketsana hit:

philippines-typhoon-sept-27
People wade in the chest deep floodwater Sunday, Sept. 27, 2009 in suburban Cainta, east of Manila, Philippines

Source: Time


Philippines Flooding
Residents go on with their normal life amidst floodwaters in Taytay township, Rizal province, east of Manila, Philippines Friday Oct. 2, 2009. Tropical storm Ketsana brought the worst flooding in metropolitan Manila and neighboring provinces in more than 40 years that left more than 250 people dead and dozens more missing. The Philippines is bracing for the super typhoon Parma which is expected to hit the northern part of the country Saturday. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

MANILA, Philippines — Tens of thousands of villagers fled the likely path of a powerful typhoon bearing down Friday on the Philippines, as the government braced for the possibility of a second disaster just days after a storm killed more than 400.

Heavy rain drenched mountainous coastal regions in the northeast as Typhoon Parma tracked ominously toward heavily populated areas still saturated from the worst flooding in 40 years.

Parma was forecast to hit the east coast Saturday, packing sustained winds of up to 120 mph (195 kph) and gusts up to 140 mph (230 kph). Officials fear it may develop into a “super-typhoon,” the government’s weather bureau said.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo declared a nationwide “state of calamity” and ordered six provincial governments to evacuate residents from flood- and landslide-prone areas in the path of the storm.

The “state of calamity” extends the one applied to Manila and 25 provinces hit by the earlier storm. The declaration frees up funds to respond to emergencies.

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Sep 28

Philippines Flooding
A military truck loaded with evacuees braves the flooded street after the water subsides allowing big trucks to enter the area Monday, Sept. 28, 2009 in suburban Cainta, east of Manila, Philippines. Weary victims of a tropical storm that unleashed worst flooding in more than a decades begun cleaning up their damaged homes as rescue workers plucked more dead bodies from muddy floodwaters. (AP Photo/ Pat Roque)

MANILA, Philippines — Rescuers pulled more bodies from swollen rivers Monday as residents started to dig out their homes from under carpets of mud after flooding left 140 people dead in the Philippine capital and surrounding towns.

Overwhelmed officials called for international help, warning they may not have sufficient resources to withstand another storm that forecasters said was brewing east of the island nation and could hit as early as Friday.

Authorities expected the death toll from Tropical Storm Ketsana, which scythed across the northern Philippines on Saturday, to rise as rescuers penetrate villages blocked off by floating cars and other debris. The storm dumped more than a month’s worth of rain in just 12 hours, fueling the worst flooding to hit the country in more than 40 years. At least 140 people died, and 32 are missing.

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Dec 06

MANILA, Philippines-Manila, the Philippines capital and one of Asia’s most populous cities, is sinking and may go the way of Venice unless its people stopped pumping ground water for bathing and other needs, experts warned Thursday.

The phenomenon of subsidence, caused by the drying up of aquifers as a result of over-extraction of water, threatens not only Manila but also nearby areas that have also seen rapid migration and development, said Fernando Siringan.

The geologist from the Marine Science Institute at the University of the Philippines did not give the rate of sinking, saying only that the metropolis of 12 million people faced potential water and marine product shortages, flash floods, and even infrastructure damage.

“Originally, the Italians never planned to make Venice a city permanently submerged in seawater. It was built above water, on the valley of Italy,” Siringan said in an article posted on the environment and natural resources department website.

“But because the Venetians were so much dependent on groundwater, the subsidence was tremendous; the place later became submerged in water. But the Venetians adapted very well, and so they did not destroy the structures of Venice,” Siringan said.

Ramon Alikpala, head of the government’s National Water Resources Board, said the subsidence problem was complicated by the fact that large areas of the city are actually situated below sea level.

“There is already saltwater intrusion in some parts of Metro Manila because of over-extraction and the lack of recharging of the aquifer,” he said.

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Apr 10

Filipinos face life in prison if they’re caught hoarding rice.

“The Department of Justice is preparing economic sabotage or plunder charges that carry a life sentence against traders found to be hoarding rice, the price of which has risen sharply amid a tight global supply,” The Inquirer reports. “Although the country has yet to experience a shortage, Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez Thursday vowed to hale to court hoarders and other unscrupulous rice traders for acts ‘inimical to the public interest.'”

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo reiterated the warnings during a speech today, but also pledged to increase imports of the staple.

“Those who seek to take advantage of our people must be stopped,” she says, according to The Inquirer. “I am leading the charge to crack down on any form of corruption by public or private officials who would divert supplies or pervert the price of this essential commodity in any way.”

“Anyone caught stealing rice from the people will be thrown in jail,” she adds.

Bloomberg News
reports that the price of rice, a key staple in the global food supply, keeps hitting record highs. It’s now twice as expensive as it was at this time in 2007.

“We’re in for a tough time,” Roland Jansen, CEO of Mother Earth Investments AG, tells the financial news service, adding: “you will have huge problems of daily nutrition for half the planet.”

(Photo of workers in Manila taken March 28 by Romeo Ranoco, Reuters.)

Source: USA Today

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Mar 15

MANILA, Feb 22, 2008 (AFP) – At least 21 people have been killed and more than 294,000 displaced by floods and landslides in the central and southern Philippines, relief officials said Friday. Continue reading »

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