Water levels were rising after three days of continuous monsoon rain that has burst dykes and forced people in low-lying areas to flee homes and farms in three provinces south of the capital Manila, the Office of Civil Defence (OCD) said on Thursday.
Two people were buried alive in a landslide in Pagbilao town, Quezon province, relief officials said. The OCD added that about 60,000 people had been evacuated in Quezon, Camarines Norte and Mindoro Oriental provinces.
Wide areas have been affected by landslides and floods and many homes, farms and businesses have been damaged. Calapan City on Mindoro Island was worst hit, officials said.
“We are in need of food, medicine, blankets and other relief materials. We need rubber boats to evacuate more residents to safer areas”
Doy Leachon, an official in Calapan, told Reuters that the dykes protecting the city had been breached by swollen rivers.
“Flood waters are still rising,” Leachon said by telephone.
“We are in need of food, medicine, blankets and other relief materials. We need rubber boats to evacuate more residents to safer areas.”
He said flood waters in the city had risen chest-deep, with hundreds of commuters stranded in bus terminals, forcing the suspension of land travel to the central Philippines.
The army said bad weather had prevented military helicopters from taking off from bases in Manila and on Mindoro Island.
“We are still waiting for the weather to cooperate,” said Major Jose Broso, spokesman for the Southern Luzon Command.
Environmental activists said the floods were caused by logging, slash-and-burn farming and quarrying on the mountains in Quezon and Mindoro Island.