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Philippines Shuts Schools, Offices in Capital on Floods

The Philippines shut schools and government offices in the capital and several provinces in the main island of Luzon after sustained rains caused flooding.

President Benigno Aquino ordered the suspension of work and classes at all levels today, Abigail Valte, a presidential spokeswoman, said in an interview on local radio station DZMM.

Heavy rains in past days caused rivers and dams near the capital to rise, Office of Civil Defense Director Susana Cruz said yesterday. Thousands have been evacuated.

Damage caused by typhoons and other calamities reached 59.2 billion pesos ($1.4 billion) in 2011, Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan told lawmakers yesterday.

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