Philippine presidential palace opens to homeless storm victims

18:40, September 30, 2009      

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The Philippine Presidential Palace on Wednesday accommodated nearly 100 people displaced by tropical storm Kestana that has killed 246 people and displaced more than half a million in the Philippines.

The sprawling Malacanang compound in downtown Manila can house around 700 homeless people, they said.

The 97 evacuees, who could not be accommodated at the Diosdado Macapagal Elementary School in Tatalon, Quezon City, were brought to Malacanang and have taken shelter in the hallways of the ground floor of Mabini Hall, the administrative building in the Malacanang complex.

He said that 250 volunteers are at the emergency relief center to help sort out and repack relief goods in the Malacanang compound.

Kestana, locally known as Ondoy, swept through the central Luzon region last Saturday. The epic rainfall brought by the storm caused massive flooding and landslides. Two hundred and forty-six people were killed, 42 remain missing while nearly 700,000 people fled their flooded homes to stay in either evacuation centers or with host families.

Relief goods have been delivered to a number of government's evacuation centers or air-dropped to the flooded villages as water subsided. But Manila said the massive damages brought by the storm have strained its relief capabilities and has requested for international assistance.

Source:Xinhua
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