Death toll rises as wild weather capsizes boats and wrecks villages

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Photographs uploaded to Twitter by Senator Richard Gordon.

Thirteen people are confirmed dead after three boats capsized amid wild weather lashing the Philippines, the state-run disaster agency said.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said today (Saturday, August 3) that search and rescue operations in the Iloilo-Guimaras Strait were continuing.

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The three motor bancas sank within hours of one another due to strong monsoon winds and rough waves.

In the first incident, 11 people were killed while 32 were rescued after MB Che-che capsized while on its way from Iloilo to Guimaras at about 12.15pm. The boat was carrying 43 passengers and four crew members.

The second sinking incident involved MB Keziah which was carrying four crew members, who all survived. There were no passengers on board. 

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The third boat, MB Gene had 30 passengers on board. The NDRRMC is continuing to verify how many have been rescued, but two have been confirmed dead.

There have also been reports of a motor banca called Jenny Vince capsizing, but without any loss of life.

The Coast Guard District Western Visayas is continuing with search and rescue operations.

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas and Guimaras Governor Samuel Gumarin have ordered the cancellation of all boat trips between their two jurisdictions.

Wild weather

Seasonal southwest monsoons have churned up the seas on the western section of the Philippines over the past week.

Elsewhere, a cargo vessel carrying 18 Chinese people ran aground in the waters off Lauis Ledge in Talisay City, Cebu, at about 7am this morning.

In Northern Samar, at least 11 houses and a public market were damaged when a tornado hit three villages in Lavezares town.

And in Negros Occidental, two tornadoes destroyed seven houses and damaged 41 others this morning.

Meanwhile, in Davao, waves “as big as houses” destroyed at least 50 houses and damaged 98 others. At least 357 families from eight coastal villages have been displaced.

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