Death toll in Philippines ferries disaster rises to 25

2019-08-04 12:56
Typhoon Trami off the Japanese south coast in the Philippine Sea. (Agustin Paullier, NOAA, RAMMB, AFP)

Typhoon Trami off the Japanese south coast in the Philippine Sea. (Agustin Paullier, NOAA, RAMMB, AFP)

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Rescuers have pulled more bodies out of rough seas where three ferry boats capsized off two central Philippine provinces, bringing the death toll to 25 with six still missing.

Regional police spokesman Joem Javier said on Sunday the dead were mostly passengers of two ferries that flipped over the day before in sudden gusts of wind and powerful waves off the Guimaras and Iloilo provinces.

Fifty-five other passengers and crew were rescued.


The third ferry, which was not carrying any passengers, capsized in the Iloilo Strait - but its four crewmen survived, Javier said.

Survivors recounted how the sky suddenly turned dark midway through their trip, followed by strong wind and rain that battered their ferries.

Forecasters have warned of heavy monsoon rains, thunderstorms and rain-triggered landslides amid a tropical depression more than 1 000km off the country's eastern coast.

Classes and work were suspended in metropolitan Manila on Friday and Saturday amid heavy rains and flooding, which caused intense traffic jams in low-lying areas in the capital.

The Southeast Asian archipelago nation has a poor shipping safety record, with scores of people dying in maritime accidents every year - usually aboard boats that move people from one small island to another.

About 20 typhoons and storms batter the Philippines annually.

Read more on:    phillipines  |  typhoon

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