People wading through flood waters in Milan
Emergency workers and troops rushed food, water and clothes to nearly 850,000 people displaced and marooned from deadly floods spawned by 11 straight days of southwest monsoon rains that soaked the Philippine capital and nearby provinces.
About 60 percent of Manila, a sprawling metropolis of about 12 million people, remained inundated on Wednesday, Benito Ramos, head of the national disaster agency, told Reuters,
Eleven people were reported killed on Tuesday, bringing the death toll to 64 since steady rains started when Typhoon Saola hit northern portions of the main Luzon island in late July.
Financial markets reopened after being shut on Tuesday, but schools and many businesses remained shut for a second straight day with the military, police and civic officials struggling to deliver aid as water swept through the city turning major roads into rivers.
Still, many people were reluctant to leave flooded homes, fearing a loss of valuables, officials said.
"We're also asking people living along swollen riverbanks to evacuate," Ramos said. "If there is a need for us to force them to leave their homes, we will do that for their own safety."
Jesse Robredo, the interior secretary, said the government has started drawing up plans to permanently relocate residents along riverbanks and coastal areas to reduce property and human losses during the rest of the typhoon and monsoon season.
The national disaster agency said on Wednesday morning it had distributed food, water, clothes and medicines to people marooned inside flooded homes and at temporary shelter areas.