Heavy rains, flash floods and landslides had affected more than 450,000, and killed at least 18 people in the Philippines by Jan. 5, 2011, the United Nations reported.
The Associated Press reported that nearly 13,000 residents had sought refuge in schools and gymnasiums converted to emergency shelters, according to a NASA statement. Casualties resulted from drowning, burial by landslides and electrocution. Many of the dead had left evacuation centers to salvage their property, according to news reports.
This color-coded image shows rainfall amounts over the Philippines from Dec. 30, 2010 to Jan. 5, 2011. The heaviest rainfall more than 900 millimeters or 35 inches appears in dark blue. The lightest rainfall less than 100 millimeters or 4 inches appears in light green. The heaviest precipitation is concentrated along the eastern coasts, southeast of Manila.
In early September 2010, the United Nations reported that the Philippines could face a strong storm season resulting from La Niña conditions. La Niña generally intensifies rainfall over the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and northern Australia.