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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Trouble in the Philippines - FERRY SINKING and TYPHOON DUJUAN

The Phiippines is dealing with enough disasters this week, first Typhoon Dujuan hit the island leaving many residents dealing with a massive resulting flood. To add to the mayheim, at least 9 people have died out of the 968 passengers on the Philippine Super Ferry 9 which sank off the shores of Zamboanga del Norte province this morning.

Wilfredo Tamayo, chief Admiral of the Philippine Coast guard said 900 of 968 passengers and crewmen on board the Superferry 9 were transferred to two nearby commercial ships, a navy gunboat and a fishing boat. A search is now under way for more than 60 people who are still missing, Tamayo said.

"We really hope they're just unaccounted for due to the confusion," Tamayo told The Associated Press.

Navy ships were deployed to the area of the Philippine Ferry sinking and three military aircraft scoured the seas around the sunken vessel. American troops stationed in the region deployed a civilian helicopter and five boats, some carrying paramedics, to help in the search for survivors of the Philippine Ferry sinking.

It is reported, two men and a child drowned during the chaotic scramble to escape the sinking Philippine ship. The bodies of two other passengers were later found floating in the see by fishermen who were helping in the search.

The cause of the Sinking of Ferry off the shore of the Philippines was not clear. There were reports that the ferry listed to the right due to a hole in the hull. As the 7,268-ton ferry tilted, some passengers may have panicked and jumped into the water, the coast guard said.

Passenger Roger Cinciron told DZMM radio by cellphone that he felt the ferry was tilting around midnight but he was assured by a crewman that everything was well. About two hours later, he was roused from sleep by the sound of crashing cargo below his cabin, he said. "People began to panic because the ship was really tilting," he said as he waited for rescuers to save him and a group of more than 20 other passengers.

The ferry left the southern port city of General Santos in the Philippines on Saturday and was scheduled to arrive in Iloilo city in the central Philippines later Sunday but ran into problems midway and began to list about nine miles (15 kilometres) from the nearest shore, Tamayo said, adding there were no signs of possible terrorism.

Al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf militants bombed another Superferry in Manila Bay in 2004, setting off an inferno that killed 116 people in Southeast Asia's second-worst terrorist attack.

The weather, in the Zamboanga peninsula region of the Philippines, was generally fair, although a tropical storm was battering the country's mountainous north which has resulted in massive flooding.

Sea accidents are common in the Philippine archipelago because of tropical storms, badly maintained boats and weak enforcement of safety regulations. Last year, a ferry overturned after sailing toward a powerful typhoon in the central Philippines, killing more than 800 people on board.

In December 1987, the ferry Dona Paz sank after colliding with a fuel tanker in the Philippines, killing more than 4,341 people in the world's worst peacetime maritime disaster.

Meanwhile, in another area of the Philippines, residents are struggling with the aftermath of Typhoon Dujuan. Typhoon Dujuan has left many area's of the Philippines dealing with massive flooding and a growing problem with sanitation.

Typhoon Dujuan has also slammed Taiwan and Southern China causing many deaths and ongoing problems with Typhoon related flooding in the Asian region.

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