Jun 22

700 Missing as Typhoon Capsizes a Ferry in Philippine Waters

Typhoon Fengshen capsized MV Princess of Stars in Philippine waters, according to two survivors who struggled to shore Sunday.

There were more than 740 passengers on board while Senator Richard Gordon asked U.S. authorities for help in finding survivors. A rescue ship reached the ferry Sunday, one end jutting out of the water upside-down and there were no signs of survivors on site. Only four people on board were confirmed to have reached the shore alive.

In a nearby village, 6 bodies were found which included a man and a woman who bound themselves together. While officials were checking reports that survivors might have reached a nearby island, relatives of those onboard are silently weeping and praying, hoping for news of missing loved ones.

A janitor on the ship, Reynato Lanoria, estimated approximately 100 people could have survived but claimed that others were trapped inside. He believed that they may be dead by now as most of them were not as lucky as he was when he jumped in the water and reached a life raft. According to him, it was around 11:30 a.m. Saturday when they were ordered to put on life vests. About 30 minutes later, the ferry tilted and people were thrown off, falling into the water.

Another survivor, Jesus Gica, claimed that many of them jumped overboard but were separated because of the large waves. Although there were also people who boarded life rafts, some were not able to make it because the strong winds flipped the rafts over.

As the typhoon continues to ravage the Philippines, several areas were also victims of flooding and damage. Here is a video of the storm’s impact on the region.

 

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