United Nations Calls International Community to Help Flooded Philippines

Wednesday tropical storm Parma brought more heavy rains to already flooded areas of the northern Philippines.

While it had slightly weakened, Parma remained about 60 kilometres (37 miles) off the northwest coast of the main Luzon island, weather officials said.

The government warned residents of the region to beware of landslides and more dangerous floods.

Parma slammed into northern Luzon on Saturday, causing flooding that inundated vast tracts of farmland and claimed 16 lives, AFP reports.

In the meantime, UN humanitarian chief John Holmes said people there needed money for food, water, sanitation facilities, emergency shelter and health care.

Typhoon Ketsana left at least 300 people dead, and hundreds of thousands stranded. Typhoon Parma just over a week later caused further damage.

The Philippines has also said it will soon start importing rice to make up for the shortages caused by the storms.

The government usually imports large quantities of rice - the Philippines is the world's largest rice importer - but it is likely to begin importing it earlier than usual this year because so many crops have been damaged, BBC News reports.

It was also reported, Wednesday the United Nations appealed to the international community to help in relief work in typhoon-hit areas in the Philippines and raise about $75 million.

Widespread flooding in and around Manila two weeks ago and another typhoon last week killed over 300 people and destroyed more than $215 million in crops and infrastructure on the main Luzon island, said disaster officials.

Two U.S. navy ships have docked in Manila Bay bringing millions of dollars worth of relief materials and equipment to remove mud, debris and garbage as floodwaters start to recede in and around the capital Manila and two nearby provinces.

The World Food Programme has committed to deliver about $500,000 worth of rice and brought in 3 helicopters and 7 boats to help deliver food and relief materials to flooded areas, Reuters reports.

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