MANILA - Torrential rain paralysed large parts of the Philippine capital Monday as neck-deep water swept through homes, while floods in northern farming areas claimed at least one life.
Schools, government offices and the stock exchange in the megacity of 12 million people closed as a red alert was raised in the morning, the highest level of a warning system in which widespread floods are predicted.
"We are trying to save whatever we can. But it was so sudden," J.R Pascual, a father-of-four, told AFP as he tried to take the most important possessions from his home that was flooded up to his waist.
"My neighbour wasn't even able to get his car out."
Pascual lives in a middle-class district of Cavite, a coastal area that is about 15 kilometres (nine miles) from the heart of Manila.
Roads from Cavite and other southern areas into the city were impassable, while some motorists who tried to get through the flooded streets were forced to abandon their cars.
Footage on ABS-CBN television showed people in nearby shanty town communities standing on their corrugated iron roofs, as fast-moving water swept through the windows of their homes.
By early afternoon, the rain had eased and the red alert was lowered for the capital.