Heavy rain floods Manila

Heavy rain floods Manila

MANILA - A tropical storm dumped heavy rain on the Philippine capital on Friday, flooding many parts of the city, shutting schools, government offices and financial markets.

Thousands of residents in low-lying areas were moved to higher ground, officials said, as flood waters rose quickly after the equivalent of half a month's usual rain fell in six hours.

The Philippine Stock Exchange suspended trade after the government cancelled work and classes in the capital.

Trading at the electronic foreign exchange platform Philippine Dealing System was also suspended, with clearing and settlement cancelled for the day.

Tropical storm Fung-Wong, with maximum winds of 85 kph (50 mph) and gusts of up to 100 kph (62 mph), was hovering about 210 km (130 miles) east of Casiguran town in northern Aurora province.

It is expected to hit land at around noon on Friday and move northwest at 22 kph (13 mph) towards the South China Sea.

About 7,000 people were evacuated in Marikina City in the eastern part of the capital where a swollen river caused flooding, said Del De Guzman, city mayor. "We are now on sweeping operations for those trapped by the floods. The rains were so heavy, so fast, some were not able to evacuate," De Guzman said in an interview with GMA TV, adding the government was sending amphibious vehicles and rubber boats to help get people out.

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