At least 70 people are missing after a ferry sank in the waters off the central Philippines in bad weather on Saturday night, the government’s civil defence office said.
The Maharlika II ferry, carrying at least 84 people went down off the central island of Leyte with only 14 people rescued so far by other boats said Mina Marasigan, spokeswoman of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
“Rescue boats had trouble reaching them because the waves were really huge,” she told AFP. The coast guard and private vessels are still in the area, Marasigan said, adding there are hopes more people will be rescued in the coming hours. The ferry had reported “problems with steering” and had also been buffeted by heavy rains, worsened by Typhoon Kalmaegi which is approaching the northern Philippines, she said.
Saturday, 13 September, 2014 at 17:07 (05:07 PM) UTC RSOE
Typhoon Kalmaegi/Luis http://wp.me/p2k2mU-3sA
SOUTHERN LEYTE GOV:
Ferry sinks off Southern Leyte
(INQUIRER.net Editor’s Note: Reposting article for updates)
MANILA, Philippines – A passenger ferry sank off Southern Leyte and Surigao Saturday night, authorities said.
Strong waves spawned by the southwest monsoon caused the Maharlika 2, a roll off, roll on vessel, to sink in the afternoon, Southern Leyte Governor Roger Mercado said in a live radio interview.
The ship, which came from Surigao City was scheduled to dock in Liloan town, Southern Leyte at 5 p.m., Ricardo said.
But Commander Armand Balilo, spokesman of the Philippine Coast Guard, said in a separate interview that based on initial reports, the ship was “dead on water” and was not sunk by strong waves.
He said based also on initial reports that there were 84 people on the ship – 56 adults, 2 children, and 26 crew.
He said three ships – the Maharlika 4, a sister vessel; St. Martn; and an unnamed third vessel – have responded and were conducting search and rescue operations.
He could not say how many persons were rescued as the figures would be subject to confirmation by the Coast Guard.” – INQUIRER.net
Do not use any information on this site for life or death decisions. All information is intended as supplementary to official sources. Kindly refer to your country’s official weather agency/government website for local warnings, advisories and bulletins.