Typhoon kills 17 in Philippines; ferry stranded at sea with 740 aboard

Navy and coast guard ships battled huge waves and strong winds Sunday to reach a stranded ferry carrying more than 740 people after Typhoon Fengshen battered the country killing 17. Rescue vessels aborted an initial attempt Saturday to get to the MV Princess of Stars after it ran aground near Sibuyan island, but efforts resumed amid stormy weather Sunday, coast guard chief Vice Admiral Wilfredo Tamayo said. Fengshen lashed the central Philippines for about four hours Saturday, setting off landslides and floods, knocking out power, and blowing off roofs from houses. Packing sustained winds of 120 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 150 kph, the typhoon shifted course Sunday to the northwest and battered the capital Manila at dawn, chief government forecaster Nathaniel Cruz said. In southern Maguindanao province, at least 14 people drowned in flash floods Saturday, including 10 who were swept away from riverside homes, said provincial administrator Norie Unas. Five others were missing.