At least 21 people died after a passenger boat overturned on Thursday in the Philippines, one of the several countries that have been battered by Typhoon Doksuri.
The MBCA Princess Aya capsized after being lashed by strong winds in Laguna Lake, located in the Rizal province southeast of the nation’s capital Manila, police said.
The search operation, which had already led to the rescue of 40 people, continued into the evening.
Police didn’t immediately provide figures for the total number of crewmembers and passengers aboard the ship.
The tragic incident happened just 46 metres off the shore of the lake near the town of Binangonan, the coast guard said, as the boat was hit by the strong winds shortly after its departure.
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A dramatic video released by the coast guard showed rescuers on a local government boat pulling a body out of the lake.
Another clip featured a fishermen’s boat approaching the overturned ship to provide help.
The capsizing of the boat raised the number of victims provoked by recent stormy weather conditions in the Philippines to 30.
Landslides, flooding and trees toppled as a result of the typhoon have killed at least nine people in the country.
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Sea travel was suspended in many ports between Tuesday and Wednesday due to Doksuri, but the no-sail order was gradually lifted on Thursday as the stormy weather gave way to better conditions.
The passenger ship had been given the go-ahead to sail from the Binangonan town to nearby Talim Island, as the typhoon had moved away from the country, directed towards Taiwan and China, coast guard spokesman Rear Admiral Armand Balilo said.
Beijing is now bracing for the landfall of the typhoon following a night of heavy rainfall in China’s southwestern regions, which affected fifteen provinces and city-level administrative units.
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China’s national observatory classified Doksuri as a “strong” typhoon in the early hours of Thursday, when it recorded maximum winds of 180km/h as it passed northwest through the Taiwan Strait towards Fujian province.
Ahead of the typhoon’s passage, Taiwan also prepared by evacuating more than 5,700 people as a precautionary measure given the heavy rainfall that hit the country.
Several flights and railway services were cancelled on Thursday amid fears of landslides and floods.
And the country’s weather bureau issued wind and rain warnings for the southern and eastern parts of the island.
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