700 people aboard drifting ferry in Philippines

700 people aboard drifting ferry in Philippines

700 people aboard drifting ferry in Philippines

Posted 22 June 2008, 13:06 AEST

A ferry carrying over 700 passengers and crew has partially sunk and is drifting without power off the coast of the central Philippines after being battered by huge waves caused by typhoon, Fengshen.

The MV Princess of the Star sent a distress signal late yesterday when its engines stalled in rough seas near Sibuyan island in the central Philippines.

The boat left Manila on Saturday morning for the central province of Cebu when the storm hit.

The mayor of the coastal town in the region sent a speed boat to check on the ship and its crew reports the ferry is partly submerged with a hole in the hull and several bodies nearby

Typhoon Fengshen has blasted through the centre of the country with winds of up to 195 kilometres per hour killing at least 19 people.

30,000 people in Iloilo in the central Philippines have been forced to high ground or onto roof tops after a local dam overflowed causing extensive flooding.