MANILA: Relentless rains have submerged half of the Philippine capital and triggered a landslide that killed eight people.
The deluge, the worst since 2009 when hundreds died in rampaging flash floods, was set off by monsoon rain that caused major dams and rivers in Manila and surrounding provinces to overflow.
''It's like a water world,'' Benito Ramos, the head of the government's disaster response agency, said.
He said the rains flooded half of metropolitan Manila on Monday evening, and about a third remained under at least waist-deep waters yesterday.
He urged residents in areas prone to landslides and floods to stay in evacuation centres. Even a little rain could be dangerous because the soil was saturated , he added.
''Now that it's getting dark, I would like to repeat, if the rains are heavy you should be at the evacuation centres,'' he said, warning that rescue operations are more difficult at night and could put responders at risk.
The President, Benigno Aquino, called an emergency meeting of cabinet officials and disaster-response agencies.
The capital and other parts of the country were already saturated from last week's Typhoon Saola, which killed at least 53 people.
Manila's weather bureau said a separate tropical storm off eastern China had intensified monsoon rains in the Philippines which were forecast to last until tomorrow.
In Quezon City in Manila, a landslide hit a row of shanties along a road, burying eight people, witnesses said. Soldiers and police dug frantically to save those buried, including four children.
The chief of the national police, Nicanor Bartolome, went to the scene and ordered all slum dwellers to be evacuated.
TV footage showed rescuers dangling on ropes to bring children and other residents to safety from flooded houses across the city.
''We need to be rescued,'' Josephine Cruz told DZMM radio as water rose around her house in Quezon City, saying she was trapped in her two-storey house with 11 other people. ''We can't get out because the floodwaters are now higher than people.''
Even heavy trucks struggled to navigate water-clogged roads, where hundreds of thousands of commuters were stranded.