Fifteen people were killed on Tuesday in floods and landslides caused by heavy rains in the Philippine capital and several provinces, officials said.
Government offices, courts and schools were suspended in Manila and nine northern provinces after rain since Sunday night caused major dams and rivers to overflow.
The president's office also ordered private businesses to close.
Up to 50 per cent of metropolitan Manila an area of about 12 million inhabitants was flooded, according to Benito Ramos, head of the Office of Civil Defence.
``It was like water world out there,” he said.
Many roads in the capital were impassable as floodwaters reached 2m in some areas.
Hundreds of commuters and dozens of cars were stranded in swamped streets across Manila, which was recovering from its soaking by Typhoon Saola last week.
Residents trapped on rooftops called radio and television news networks to seek help.
``Please send help, I’m getting really worried. The current of the floodwaters is very strong,'' said Charlie Mullon, who was trapped with 20 people, including four children, on a roof in the Manila suburb of Quezon.
``Other neighbours are also on their rooftops, but there has been no rescue,” he told a local cable news channel.
Television footage showed people waving from rooftops and rescuers using inflatable rafts to evacuate residents in other areas.
In one area, rescuers had to cross a rope tied above a flooded street to get shivering residents to safety.
In the suburb of Marikina, more than 8,000 residents living near a river were evacuated overnight, according to local authorities.
In 2009, Marikina was the worst affected by the worst floods in decades in Manila caused by storm Ketsana, which left 501 people dead and missing
The Philippine Stock Exchange suspended trading.
The weather bureau said the rains were caused by the south-west monsoon enhanced by Typhoon Saola that battered the northern and central Philippines last week, killing at least 53 people in floods and accidents. (dpa/NAN)