Natural Disasters

Death and Destruction in Philippines Downpour

Dozens dead, more than 250,000 homeless.


Pounding rains in the Philippines have driven more than 260,000 people from their homes and claimed dozens of lives as landslides buried homes and streets turned into swamps, disaster officials said Tuesday.

Benito Ramos, executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, told reporters the nation "looks like waterworld," calling to mind the 1995 Kevin Costner film about a future where Earth is covered by water.

The deadly downpour has blocked roads and shuttered schools and offices, paralyzing Manila with rainfall as heavy as 2 inches an hour. Water  reportedly was neck deep in some areas. Philippine media ran images of people stranded on metal roofs, floating on makeshift rafts and clinging to trees and lamp posts as the muddy water rose.