MANILA - At least 15 people have been killed and 250,000 have fled their homes after more than 24 hours of torrential rain in the Philippines capital Manila.
Officials say the heavy rain triggered a landslide in a slum in northern Manila, which buried several houses.
The bodies of nine members of one family have been recovered and four people have been rescued alive. The search is continuing, with rescuers unsure how many more people are missing.
"The rain softened the soil and four houses were buried," said Maribel Mendoza of the local public safety office.
In nearby provinces also hit by floods, four people drowned in Bulacan and two were killed in Batangas.
Officials say half of the capital is flooded, with water in some areas neck deep.
"If we put it in a percentage, at least 50 per cent of Metro Manila is flooded," Gine Nievarez from the state weather service said.
ABC-CBN TV network reported receiving frantic calls from people whose relatives were trapped in the deluge, many without food since Tuesday morning. They included a pregnant woman with a baby who wanted to be rescued from a roof and about 55 people who scrambled to the third floor of a Quezon city house as water rose below them.
Vehicles and even heavy trucks struggled to navigate water-clogged roads, where hundreds of thousands of commuters were stranded. Many cars were stuck in the muddy waters.
More than 250,000 people have been evacuated from their homes, but rescuers are struggling to get to others who have been stranded by the rising waters.
Schools, businesses and most government offices in the city are shut.
Power was turned off in some parts of the city as a precautionary measure, with the waters seeping into electrical facilities.
Rosario Brutas, a market vendor in Bacoor, a town south of Manila, said she and her husband woke to discover their home already partly submerged.
President Benigno Aquino said the government was doing everything it could to help.
"Everybody who is supposed to do something is doing what he is supposed to do," he told reporters after meeting with civil defence officials.
Bad weather from seasonal south-west monsoons has been pounding Manila and nearby areas for over a week.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said more than 800,000 people had been affected, with 18,600 in government evacuation centres and some 231,000 seeking refuge with friends or relatives.
Tuesday's deaths brought the number of people killed by the monsoon rains across the Philippines to 68 over the past week, according to civil defence officials.