Pagasa, the national weather service, on Tuesday morning issued a red alert for the Philippine capital and nearby provinces, warning that “severe flooding is expected.”
The national news reports that 70% of central Manila is under water, and that government offices, schools and financial markets have been closed. Airlines have also cancelled flights.
The monsoon rains have been strengthened by a tropical storm over the ocean. Flood waters are chest deep on some roads in Manila, and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council says the water at some dams is reaching a critical level.
Most of the seven deaths were due to drowning, and occurred in various provinces on the main island of Luzon.
The council reported that over 130,000 have been forced to leave their homes and seek shelter in evacuation centers or with relatives and friends.
The Philippines’ wettest month is usually August, and last year scores of people were killed by severe flooding. Image/CNN