Eight dead in Philippine floods as thousands flee homes

Manila   -   Nearly 10,000 people were evacuated from their homes in the northeastern Philippines as heavy rain across the country left at least eight people dead, authorities said Sunday. The storm -- which has inundated villages and destroyed scores of houses in recent days -- is the latest to batter the disaster-prone archipelago.  Floodwaters reached waist-deep in 14 towns in the Cagayan Valley in the northeast of the main island of Luzon -- which saw the worst flooding in decades last month -- regional civil defence officer Francis Joseph Reyes said. That forced nearly 10,000 people to seek shelter in emergency centres.  The rain, which was intensified by the northeast monsoon, has filled Magat dam near to its critical level and the release of water threatens to aggravate the flooding, Reyes said. Authorities said at least six people drowned in two provinces on the major southern island of Mindanao, which was also hit by torrential rain in recent days. 

“But in truth he was killed by shots from the Palestinian Authority,” says his mother, Um Hatem Abu Rizq, in the family’s tiny apartment in a dilapidated concrete building.

“He was looking to fight corruption within the Palestinian administration, that’s why they didn’t like him,” she weeps, kissing a giant poster of her son.

 Was he working for exiled former Fatah Gaza security chief Mohammed Dahlan, as alleged by PA officials?

“If Hatem were with Dahlan, we would not live in such an apartment,” said his mother, whose two other sons are in hiding, fearing for their lives.

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