Ferry sinks in Philippines; 21 people dead
The bodies were recovered after a small outrigger ferry sank in rough waters in the central Philippines.Updated: May 13, 2006 11:33 IST
A coast guard said on Saturday that 21 bodies have been recovered after a small outrigger ferry sank in rough waters in the central Philippines, taking the number of people killed by a storm to 23.
Coast guard spokesman Lt Cmdr Joseph Coyme said 18 other passengers of the motorboat Mae An have been rescued since Friday, when it capsized off Masbate island after ignoring a general warning from authorities stopping all small vessels from sailing as tropical storm Chanchu approached the region.
Coyme said it was uncertain whether five people from the Mae An, reported missing on Friday, were among those who drowned and were recovered from the stormy sea near Masbate, about 360 kilometers southeast of Manila.
He said the motorised outrigger left at dawn to evade authorities, and left no list of passengers that were headed to nearby Sorsogon province on the southeastern tip of the main Philippine island of Luzon.
Early on Saturday, a swollen river broke a dike and submerged four villages under waist-deep water on Mindoro island south of Manila, while a ferry with more than 700 aboard ran aground during the storm, officials and news reports said.
Elsewhere, a couple were electrocuted Friday when a swaying coconut tree severed an electric line in Manapla town on Negros island.
The weather bureau reported that Chanchu cut through Mindoro island, about 120 kilometers south of Manila, overnight Friday, and was heading on Saturday toward the South China Sea, moving at 15 kilometers per hour with sustained winds of 94 kph and gusts of up to 120 kilometers.
First Published: May 13, 2006 11:33 IST