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Typhoon capsizes boat; more than 700 missing

Rescuers battled huge waves and strong winds Sunday to reach a ferry that capsized during a deadly typhoon in the Philippines a day earlier, but found no immediate signs of the more than 740 passengers and crew.

Coast guard frogmen who managed to get to the ship got no response when they rapped on the hull, then had to give up for the night due to the strong waves.

“They haven't seen anyone. They're scouring the area. They're studying the direction of the waves to determine where survivors may have drifted,” coast guard spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Arman Balilo said.

Rescuers hoped to get inside today, likely with U.S. assistance requested by the Philippine Red Cross. Typhoon Fengshen has killed at least 137 people across the sprawling archipelago, setting off landslides and floods, and knocking out electricity.

So far, 10 people from the ferry are known to have made it to land. Six bodies have washed ashore.

Officials were checking reports that a large number of survivors might have reached one nearby island and that a life raft was spotted off another, coast guard spokesman Cmdr. Antonio Cuasito said. Associated Press

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