Philippine flood threatens 40 000

Manila - Up to 40 000 people may be forcibly evacuated after torrential rains caused heavy flooding in the southern Philippines, an official said on Tuesday.

Ten villages in the town of Sultan Kudarat on southern Mindanao island were under waist-deep waters after a river overflowed its banks due to rains that began on Friday, local social welfare department head Pombaen Kadir said.

"We are preparing to evacuate them," said Kadir.

"They still do not want to leave their homes which are now under waist-deep water, but we may force them to leave once the situation deteriorates."

She said the main highway that cuts through the affected areas had been rendered impassable to light vehicles.

Army troops in the area have also dispatched trucks to help in the planned evacuation efforts, she said.
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