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Even As Rains Ease, Disaster Grows In Philippines; 2.1 Million Affected

The numbers keep rising in the Philippines, where monsoons have overwhelmed Manila and other areas.

According to the country's disaster response agency

-- The number of people affected by the devastating rains, flooding and landslides has grown to 2.1 million, up from 1.2 million on Wednesday.

-- As the end of the day today, more than 580,000 people were either in evacuation centers or had fled to the homes of relatives or friends. That's up from 400,000 on Wednesday.

-- The official death toll stands at 19, up from 16 a day earlier.

Meanwhile, after briefly reducing the "rainfall warning signal" to "green," the nation's weather agency has raised it again to "orange." Though it's not expected to be heavy, there's more rain expected over much of the country and there's a "gale warning" up for the coasts of Northern and Central Luzon.

According to The Manila Times, "60 percent of metro Manila is under water." Urban planners, it adds, say that it's largely a "man-made disaster" caused by "poor planning, lax enforcement and political self-interest."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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