Five dead as boat sinks in Philippines storm13/06/2012 - 11:46:57
Big waves have smashed a passenger boat into rocky outcrops and sunk the vessel in stormy weather in the south-western Philippines, killing at least five people, officials said today.
The MV Josille 2 sank before midnight yesterday near an island off the resort town of El Nido, Palawan Island, said coastguard spokesman Lieutenant Commander Armand Balilo.
One of the passengers managed to contact the coastguard, sparking a search that also involved the Philippine navy and local fishermen.
Rescuers plucked the bodies of three women and two men from the sea, officials said, while 54 others were rescued.
Navy Commodore Alexander Lopez said authorities were not sure how many people were on the boat because the numbers of the dead and rescued have already exceeded the manifest count of 46.
Navy, coastguard and fishing boats will continue a search in the rough waters, but strong winds prevented military planes from participating, Cmdr Lopez said.
Many of the rescued passengers have returned to Liminangcong village in Palawan's Taytay town, where the Manila-bound boat originated, he said.
The onset of the typhoon season brought heavy rains, flash floods and strong waves in southern Mindanao region, where 75 fishermen and villagers were rescued while 13 others are still unaccounted for, regional military spokesman Major Jake Obligado said. He said search and rescue operations are ongoing.
Three days of flooding in several southern provinces displaced nearly 3,000 families and at least two drowned in Sarangani's Glan town, said Benito Ramos, head of the Philippines' disaster response agency.
Those who fled are being sheltered in public gymnasiums and other government buildings.
A new storm in the western Pacific is forecast to reach the eastern Philippines later this week and could become the first typhoon of the year. About 20 tropical storms and typhoons each year batter the Philippine archipelago.
more stories like this:
- once per day, no spam.