Press Esc to close

Disease alert in aftermath of Philippine floods

Manila, Aug 12, 2012, (AFP) 14:28 IST
Emergency relief officials and doctors were deployed to flood devastated communities in the Philippines today to prevent outbreaks of disease as the death toll jumped to 85.

While floods have gone down significantly around the capital Manila, many areas in nearby provinces remained inundated as overflowing dams continued to release water, the national disaster coordinating agency said.

"As the waters receded they left behind clogged pipelines and trash everywhere.

Sanitation has emerged as a key problem," Red Cross secretary general Gwendolyn Pang told AFP.

"We have deployed health officers in evacuation centres and in flood-hit communities with the likelihood of diseases erupting."

The Red Cross put up huge rubber bladder tanks for clean water, while local officials sent portable latrines to packed evacuation centres.

Food packs were also rushed to some 769,999 people displaced by the floods that submerged about 80 percent of Manila last week.

Civil defence office head Benito Ramos said more than half were living in dire conditions in 948 evacuation centres, which are mostly schools and churches converted into temporary shelter areas.

"Many have returned to their homes as the waters subsided, but it is far from a normal situation," Ramos said."We are trying to help them return to their normal lives with a massive clean-up operation. There is muck everywhere, and it would take some time."

The health department said water purification tablets were being distributed, while mass immunisations were being carried out to prevent an outbreak of colds, flu and other diseases.

Of particular concern is a possible outbreak of leptospirosis, a bacterial disease caused by exposure to water contaminated by rat urine.

More than 3,300 people were infected and 249 died of the disease in the aftermath of similar flooding in 2009, the biggest casualty figure for leptospirosis in the world, health authorities said.

"Many may have escaped the floods, but many could still die from leptospirosis or other diseases," Ramos said.

He said 19 more people were reported to have died, raising the death toll to 85 today, with most of the casualties due to drowning.

Go to Top

More from this section
Most trending stories
Photo Gallery
A worker applies colour to strings which will be used to fly kites, by a roadside in Ahmedabad...

A worker applies colour to strings which will be used to fly kites, by a roadside in Ahmedabad...

A girl collecting fallen Chinar leaves at a Mughal Garden on the out skirts of Srinagar...

A girl collecting fallen Chinar leaves at a Mughal Garden on the out skirts of Srinagar...

Prakash Raj speaks during a press conference to launch a campaign against the social media troll...

Prakash Raj speaks during a press conference to launch a campaign against the social media troll...

Virat Kohli during a practice session in Nagpur ahead of the 2nd test match...

Virat Kohli during a practice session in Nagpur ahead of the 2nd test match...

Bhuvneshwar Kumar during his marriage with the childhood friend Nupur Nagar....

Bhuvneshwar Kumar during his marriage with the childhood friend Nupur Nagar....

Hockey prayers during their first practice session at the Kalinga stadium...

Hockey prayers during their first practice session at the Kalinga stadium...

Yuki Bhambri of India plays against compatriot Prajnesh Gunneswaran...

Yuki Bhambri of India plays against compatriot Prajnesh Gunneswaran...

Sikh devotees paying obeisance at the Golden Temple on the martyrdom day of Guru Tegh Bahadur...

Sikh devotees paying obeisance at the Golden Temple on the martyrdom day of Guru Tegh Bahadur...

Vehicles moving at snow clad road after snowfall in Lahau...

Vehicles moving at snow clad road after snowfall in Lahau...

Sehwag and Kaif at the announcement of the inaugural edition of St. Moritz Ice Cricket...

Sehwag and Kaif at the announcement of the inaugural edition of St. Moritz Ice Cricket...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523
Powered by Yodasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.