The seven-storey Princess of the Star Ferry, bound for Cebu, left Manila on Friday. It carried more than 800 people. Amid huge waves and rough seas, the ferry’s engines failed on Saturday afternoon, and lost radio contact soon afterwards. Rescuers reached the ship only on Sunday afternoon. Fewer than 60 passengers and crew have been found alive. Rescue divers found bodies but no survivors as they began searching the capsized ferry. Teams of divers who made their way inside the ship saw no signs of life, officials said.
The ship is resting on the sea floor with the tip of its bow above water, just off Sibuyan Island in central Philippines. Divers said it was too dark inside to clearly tell how many were children or elderly were among the floating bodies that had apparently been trapped inside
On Monday, 28 people were found washed ashore in a coastal village, while at least four more were found on Sunday. Reports of other groups of survivors remain unconfirmed. At least 57 survivors and 20 fatalities of the ship have been recovered in Mulanay town, Quezon, and Burias Island, northwest of the ferry wreckage off Sibuyan Island.
Survivors described scenes of panic as people struggled to board lifeboats in heavy seas and high winds. Many people ended up jumping overboard, they said.
Typhoon Fengshen caused devastation across much of the central Philippines. About 160 people died in flooding and landslides, while homes, bridges, and roads were washed away.
According to officials of the Philippines’ National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC), the damage caused by typhoon ‘Fengshen,’ could cost as much as 4.27 billion pesos. Cost of total or partial damage to public schools was estimated at 212 million pesos, according to the Philippines Department of Education. At least six power lines have yet to be restored in Luzon while 50 percent of Panay Island in Western Visayas has yet to be energized, according to the country’s Department of Energy.