Fengshen: Only Signal 2, but killing

Only three survivors have been found after a ferry with more than 700 people onboard capsized near the central Philippine island of Sibuyan, according to a Philippines Coast Guard official on Sunday.

Four bodies have been found floating in the waters, a Coast Guard official said.

Only the boat’s rear keel remained above water a mile offshore, officials said.

The first Coast Guard rescue ship arrived just before 2 p.m. (2 am ET), and divers immediately began their search for survivors. Two more rescue ships were on the way, officials said.

The crew of the MV Princess of Stars reported Saturday that it ran aground after its engine failed during its regular run between Manila and Cebu City, according to Vice Adm. Wilfredo Tamayo.

The ferry was carrying 130 crew members and more than 600 passengers, officials said. 

Radio contact with the ship was lost Saturday afternoon, and rough seas stirred up by Typhoon Fengshen slowed efforts to reach the ferry. The typhoon made landfall in the eastern Philippines early Saturday (late Friday ET).

The news came as the death toll climbed to at least 80, most of them in the central province of Iloilo, with another 40 missing, The Associated Press cited its governor, Neil Tupaz, as saying.

Typhoon Fengshen was reported to have top sustained winds of 110 mph (177 kph), although the storm lost strength after moving ashore. Philippine officials said at least 17 people had been killed by landslides and rising waters caused by the storm.

Fengshen is still moving across the Philippines, dumping torrential rains fueled by 75 mph (120 kph) winds as it pushes toward Manila, according to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration.

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