Emergency workers and troops are rushing supplies to nearly 850,000 people displaced and marooned from deadly floods in the Philippines.
Manila and nearby provinces have been soaked by 11 straight days of southwest monsoon rains.
The national disaster agency's Benito Ramos said that about 60% of the capital, which has a population of 12m people, remains inundated.
At least 19 people were reported killed yesterday, bringing the death toll to 72 since steady rains started when Typhoon Saola hit northern portions of the main Luzon island in late July.
Financial markets reopened after being shut yesterday, but schools and many businesses remain shut.
The military, police and civic officials are struggling to deliver aid as water sweeps through the city, turning major roads into rivers.
But many people are still reluctant to leave flooded homes, fearing a loss of valuables, officials said.
"We're also asking people living along swollen riverbanks to evacuate," Mr Ramos said.
"If there is a need for us to force them to leave their homes, we will do that for their own safety."
Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo said the government has started drawing up plans to permanently relocate residents along riverbanks and coastal areas to reduce property and human losses during the rest of the typhoon and monsoon season.
The national disaster agency says it has distributed food, water, clothes and medicines to people marooned inside flooded homes and at temporary shelter areas.
The seasonal monsoon rains in the Philippines gathered strength this year from Typhoon Saola and as tropical storm Haikui travelled through the Philippine Sea this week.
But the rains should dissipate by tomorrow, the weather bureau said, as Haikui made landfall in China.
Today the weather bureau lifted the rainfall alert level even as the volume of rainfall in the last 24 hours rose to 390mm from 323mm in the previous day.
Four provinces near Manila have been placed under a state of calamity, including the rice-growing provinces of Bataan and Pampanga.