At least 36 people have died after a ferry capsized in rough waters off Ormoc, Leyte on Thursday, officials have said.
The Kim Nirvana was carrying 173 people on board when it capsized outside the port of Ormoc.
The Philippine Coast Guard have said that there is an ongoing rescue operation.
Richard Gordon, chair of the Philippine Red Cross, said that between 50 and 70 people had been rescued from the boat, which was visible from the shore.
“We’re sending an ambulance and divers to the area to help with the search and rescue,”
According to officials, divers were searching inside the upturned ship.
“The bow of the motorboat suddenly rose above the water before the vessel flipped over on one side and began to sink,” a survivor said.
The Philippines is hit by roughly 20 Typhoons and storms each year, ferries are a vital lifeline and yet they are often poorly maintained and loosly regulated leading to several accidents and deaths each year.
By Fiona Carty