Page last updated at 12:05 GMT, Friday, 9 October 2009 13:05 UK

New Philippine floods kill dozens

Flooding in Baguio City, Philippines (09 Oct 2009)
Large areas of some provinces have been affected by flooding

At least 160 people have been killed by flooding and landslides triggered by heavy rain in the northern Philippines, officials say.

Most of the deaths were in Benguet province, where landslides were reported to have hit several towns.

In Pangasinan province, accumulated flood water had to be released from dams, hampering rescue efforts.

The country is dealing with the aftermath of two major storms, Typhoons Ketsana and Parma.

Typhoon Ketsana left at least 300 people dead and hundreds of thousands stranded, while Typhoon Parma caused further damage just over a week later.


Heavy rains continue to batter the Philippines

After the latest flooding, caused by rain from Typhoon Parma, the provincial governor of Benguet said 120 people were confirmed dead there.

Twenty-five people were reported to have died in the city of Baguio when landslides buried houses.

"The rains in this area are unprecedented," said Glen Rabonza, executive officer of the National Disaster Co-ordinating Council (NDCC).

UN appeal

In Pangasinan province, where about 30 towns were said to have been flooded, dams had to be opened to release the pressure of accumulated flood water.

The NDCC said thousands of people had been stranded on rooftops and on higher ground.

We need to airlift relief food and also do rescues by airlift
Gwendolyn Pang, Philippine National Red Cross

The provincial governor of Pangasinan province, Amado Espino, told reporters that water released by the San Roque dam had flooded towns.

"The dam is supposed to be for flood control but now it is so filled it is like it is not there. The water just rushes right through from the mountains to Pangasinan."

Mr Espino said strong currents and continuing rain were making it hard to reach and rescue people in flooded areas.

The province's Vice Governor, Marlyn Premicias, told the Associated Press she had been receiving text messages from people needing to be rescued.

"Eastern Pangasinan has become one big river," she said.

Lt Col Ernesto Torres of the NDCC told Reuters news agency that 30,000 people had been evacuated in the province and 60-80% of the land was flooded.

The UN earlier appealed for $74m (£47m) to help victims of storms in the Philippines.

It says about 500,000 people have fled their homes and are still living in emergency shelters and has warned of an urgent need for food, water, sanitation facilities, emergency shelter and health care provisions.

A man uses a rope to navigate strong floodwaters in Rosales, Philippines - 9 October 2009
Thousands of people have been stranded by floodwaters

Gwendolyn Pang of the Philippine National Red Cross told the BBC that getting aid to those in need was difficult as travelling by land was often impossible.

"Most of the areas are impassable because of landslides and because of the flood water, so we need to airlift relief food and also do rescues by airlift," she said.

Typhoon Ketsana hit Manila and surrounding areas on 26 September, causing the worst flooding in the capital in more than four decades.

Eight days later, Parma blew across the country's mountainous north, bringing more rain. Meteorologists say the storm is still lingering off the coast of the Philippines.

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