Heard Art Bell who is in the Philippines talked about this storm, said that the amount of rainfall is unbelievable, twice what New Orleans got hit with. A sad situation that will continue to unfold in the coming days. You are in my prayers, D
By Manny Mogato
MANILA (Reuters) - The Philippines appealed for international aid to help tens of thousands marooned by flashfloods, and apologized for the delays in rescue efforts to avoid potential political fallout from the crisis.
Disaster officials said the death toll from Typhoon Ketsana that hit the main island of Luzon stood at 52 on Sunday and more than 20 others were missing feared dead.
"We're doing our best to get to all those people still trapped by the flashflood," Anthony Golez, spokesman for the National Disaster Coordinating Council, told reporters, adding soldiers in rubber boats would evacuate them to safety.
"We're sorry for the delays. We're encountering difficulty in reaching flooded areas.
Hundreds remained on rooftops, waving and shouting for food, water and warm clothes as floodwaters began to subside in and around Manila on Sunday.
Television images showed several houses and cars being swept by swollen rivers and clusters of people on the roofs of their homes. Army and civilian helicopters were seen dropping food and relief goods.
The weather bureau said Ketsana brought the heaviest rainfall in the country in 40 years. About 410 mm of rain fell in 24 hours on Saturday, twice the amount that drenched the United States during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.