Flood: Philippines calls in troops

Three northern regions devastated by the floods account for the bulk of the rice output in the main Luzon island and officials were assessing damage to the fourth quarter harvest.
About 3.2 billion pesos ($69 million) worth of crops, mainly rice and corn, were destroyed, based on initial estimates by the agriculture department as of late Friday.

“I have ordered the soldiers and cadets at the Philippine Military Academy in Baguio City to help out in the rescue and relief efforts,” Arroyo said in a statement.

Baguio City in the vegetable and rice growing mountain province of Benguet, 250 km north of the capital, remained totally cut off after boulders and mudslides, triggered by days of intense rain from Typhoon Parma, blocked roads.

Parma first hit the Philippines on last Saturday and hovered around the northern part of Luzon throughout the week. It has since weakened into a tropical depression and moved out to sea. The floods and mudslides came two weeks after another storm, Ketsana, inundated areas in and around the capital Manila, killing at least 337 people and forcing half a million from their homes.

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