Source Pravda.Ru

Philippines Storm Toll Rises; Government Criticized

Philippine authorities braced on Tuesday for another storm as the death toll from rain and floods from a weekend typhoon, now bearing down on Vietnam, rose to 240.

Weather forecasters said a new storm forming in the Pacific Ocean was likely to enter Philippine waters on Thursday and make landfall later in the week on the northern island of Luzon, just like Saturday's Typhoon Ketsana.

Ketsana dumped more than a month's worth of average rainfall on Manila and surrounding areas in one 24-hour period. About 80 percent of the city of 15 million was flooded, Reuters informs.

According to Times Online, h undreds of Philippine flood survivors poured into the presidential palace today after President Gloria Arroyo threw open the seat of government as part of disaster relief efforts.

"Evacuees will be given shelter in available areas among the Malacanang buildings and in tents that will be put up in between the buildings," Ms Arroyo said late yesterday.

"If required, our employees will yield their work stations to provide more space for our displaced countrymen."

Rescuers pulled a mud-splattered body of a woman from the swollen Marikina river Monday. About eight hours later, police found three more bodies from the brownish waters.

The United States has donated $100,000 and deployed a military helicopter and five rubber boats manned by about 20 American soldiers from the country's south, where they have been providing counterterrorism training. The United Nations Children's Fund and the World Food Program have also provided food and other aid, The Associated Press reports.

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