MANILA, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- Eight people were killed, four were missing while over a 100,000 families were displaced as two successive days of heavy rains submerged the Philippine capital region and several provinces and cities in Luzon.
The southwest monsoon rain, enhanced by Tropical Storm Trami ( local codename: Maring), drenched most of the country's metropolis, with more than half of Metro Manila's area still flooded as of late Tuesday.
"Fifty to 60 percent of Metro Manila is under water," said Edgardo Ollet, director of the Office of Civil Defense-National Capital Region. He said that in some areas, like those in Pasay City, the floodwater is as high as seven feet.
The flood paralyzed Metro Manila, as vehicles can barely pass through flooded roads and highways.
Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa suspended work in government offices in Metro Manila, except those involved in disaster risk reduction and management. The Philippine Stock Exchange and other private companies likewise suspended work. Local officials suspended classes in all levels.
Philippine Airlines, Sea Air and Cebu Pacific also canceled international and domestic flights owing to bad weather.
"We are already on heightened alert," Ollet said, adding that rescue teams and assets have been also deployed to cities most badly-hit by flood like Pasay, Paranaque, Las Pinas and Manila.
He said they are also monitoring the developments in Marikina City where officials have effected forcible evacuation as water level at the Marikina river continued to rise.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council ( NDRRMC) has also put the following areas under State of Calamity: Bataan, Cavite, Narvacan, Ilocos Sur; San Fernando, Masantol, Guagua, Macabebe, and Minalin, all in Pampanga; Binan, Sta Rosa, San Pedro, Cabuyao, Calamba, Los Banos, and Bay, all in Laguna.
Philippine officials assured continued assistance to the victims, reporting that about 9,000 families displaced by the flood are now in 70 evacuation centers.
Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman said there are enough relief supplies for the victims. She said the evacuation centers could still accommodate more evacuees but she called for volunteers to help in the repacking of relief goods and food packs.
The Department of Health also distributed doxycycline capsules to local government units in Metro Manila to protect people from leptospirosis, a serious bacterial disease that can be acquired through exposure to contaminated floodwater.
In its latest update released 5 p.m. local time, state weather forecasting agency Pagasa said monsoon rains will continue to drench Metro Manila and other areas northern Philippines including Benguet province and the Ilocos, Central Luzon and Southern Luzon regions. Pagasa forecasts Trami to leave the Philippines on Wednesday.