Monsoon rains lashed down in various provinces in the Philippines, triggering flash floods and landslides that killed at least eight people, officials said on Wednesday (August 21).

At least 133,000 people sought shelter in government evacuation centres across the main island of Luzon and more than double that number moved to relatives' or friends' homes for safety during the past three days of intense rainfall.

Massive flooding has affected several towns in Pampanga province, about 80 kilometres (50 miles) north of Manila, with some major roads impassable and low-lying villages submerged underwater.

The provinces of Pampanga and Laguna, along with three others in Luzon, have declared a state of calamity due to widespread flooding and damage to infrastructure.

The southwest monsoon, which lasts from June to September, was intensified by tropical storm Trami and brought torrential rains in Manila and nearby provinces of Luzon Island.

The state weather bureau has lowered the rainfall advisory from its highest level yesterday as the monsoon has started to weaken, but moderate rainfall was still expected to affect the provinces of Luzon throughout the day.

Monsoon rains in the Philippines have grown fiercer in recent years, with last year's deadliest monsoon, also in August, submerging the capital and nearby areas, killing more than 50 people and forcing about 270,000 to seek safer ground.

Presented by Adam Justice

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