Flood in Candaba town, Pampanga province, north of Manila. (Source: AFP)

Hanoi (VNA) - President of the Philippines Benigno Aquino III declared a state of national calamity after the country suffered a week of heavy rains and severe flooding following Typhoon Melor, which claimed 35 lives.

The declaration will hasten the rescue, recovery, relief and rehabilitation efforts in accordance with pertinent operational plans and directives.

According to the government weather bureau, weakened Typhoon Melor turning into a tropical depression has caused heavy rains in Central Visayas, South Mindanao and South Luzon where large agriculture cultivating areas have been flooded.

The country is likely to plunge deeper into floodwaters. Evacuation order might be made to residents in Central Cebu, Negros and Bohol as rainfall in those regions is forecasted to amount to 30 milimetres every hour.

Meanwhile, nearly 10,000 people have to evacuate from rural areas in Mindanao before a new storm, named Onyok, landed in the country on December 18.

The Philippines is hit by about 20 storms every year. In October, Koppu hurricane made landfall in the country, killing 54 people and making thousands flee.

In 2013, super Typhoon Haiyan flattened most of the communities in the central region and left at 7,350 people dead or missing.-VNA