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Thousands Evacuated in Philippines as Heavy Rains Cause Floods

Thousands fled their homes in the Philippines as heavy rains overnight caused rivers and dams near the capital to rise, Office of Civil Defense Director Susana Cruz said in a mobile-phone message today.

More than 4,000 people were evacuated in Marikina City and about 300 more in Valenzuela City, while more than 800 families in Quezon City spent the night in temporary evacuation centers, Cruz said. Some local governments in the capital suspended classes because of flooding, the Philippine Star reported today.

The local weather bureau warned in its 11 a.m. bulletin that the southwest monsoon could trigger flashfloods and landslides in northern and central Philippines. In 2011, the damage due to typhoons and other calamities reached 59.2 billion pesos, Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan told lawmakers today.

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