Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Manila brought to a standstill by floods, financial markets shut down

Manila is a virtual standstill as floods continue to pound the Philippines' northern island of Luzon. Dams are close to spill levels and streets have been rendered impassable. As of this writing, "at least 50 percent of Metro Manila is flooded" according to Jean Navarez of PAGASA as quoted by AFP and up to 20,000 people have been relocated to evacuation centres since last night.

Amid Manila's "worst floods in 3 years", trading operations in the country's key bourses have been suspended. Businessweek further reports...
The latest flood in the country regularly battered by cyclones that form over the Pacific Ocean follows criticism of the government’s lack of preparation for such calamities and may add strain on the nation’s economic growth. The damage due to typhoons and other calamities in 2011 reached 59.2 billion pesos ($1.42 billion), Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan told lawmakers yesterday.

The United States embassy was reportedly forced to close again today -- the second time in the last two weeks -- due to the flooding.
In an advisory, the US Embassy informed the public of the temporary closure of the Embassy's operations Tuesday.

"US Embassy will be closed today, August 7, due to flooding in many areas of Manila," said the Embassy.

On Wednesday last week, the massive flooding and torrential rains brought by typhoon Gener also caused the US Embassy to close for the day.

Up-to-date flood advisory on @mmda.

[Photo of Pedro Gil Station courtesy Kristoper Dominguez.]

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