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Hundreds trapped on rooftops amid major floods in Philippine capital

Officials on Thursday said hundreds of residents were trapped overnight on the roofs of their houses in the Philippines, amid widespread floods triggered by Typhoon Vamco.

The Office of Civil Defence said Vamco slammed into the eastern portion of the country’s main island of Luzon on Wednesday night, leaving at least one dead and three others missing.

It announced that a 68-year-old man was found dead on the roof of his house in Daet town in Camarines Norte province, while three people were reported missing in the nearby town of Vinzons.

Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said rescue teams are overwhelmed with the appeals for rescue in Marikina City, a suburb in the capital region of metro Manila.

“About half of all the houses in Marikina are now either totally submerged or partially submerged in floods. The current is very strong so we can’t use floating devices or manual boats.”

“Our problem is really overwhelming. We can no longer handle the rescue. We need help.’’

Teodoro likened the deluge to the disaster brought by tropical storm Ketsana, which brought a month’s worth of rain in a day in the capital in September 2009, killing over 740 people.

The weather bureau added that Vamco has weakened as it traversed the mainland of Luzon, the most populous island in the Philippines.

The typhoon, locally called Ulysses, was packing maximum winds of 130 kilometres per hour (km/h) and gusts of up to 215 km/h as it moved west-northwest at 30 km/h, it added.

It caused floods and landslides in the affected eastern provinces.

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