MANILA, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine government has placed the national capital Metro Manila and 25 provinces in Luzon region under state of calamity in order to accelerate the flow of rescue resources to cities and towns where more than 1,000 people were evacuated from their flooded homes in a sweeping tropical storm.
National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) chair Gilberto Teodoro made the announcement at a disaster-relief briefing here in Manila as the state weather bureau said heavy rains brought by the tropical storm Ketsana in the past six hours ended 2 p.m. Saturday broke a 42-year record of 334 millimeters rainfall in 24 hours.
At least 1,813 people were evacuated from their homes, the government's disaster relief agency said while a local radio report said nine people might have been killed in the floods. But the casualties can't be immediately confirmed.
Most parts of the central Luzon experienced severe flooding. In Metro Manila, around 33 villages have been flooded and 37 road sections are closed to traffic, the NDCC said in its latest bulletin.
Ketsana, locally known as Ondoy, made the landfall at northeastern Philippine coast at Saturday noon. It packed winds up to 85 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and is forecast to move west-northwest at a speed of 19kph.