A passenger ship sank with more than 500 people aboard during the height of Typhoon Ruby, and the coast guard said Tuesday at least 15 survivors were rescued.
The storm, which officials said killed at least 48 people on land and left 111,000 homeless, tore through the central Philippines and into the South China Sea Tuesday.Coast guard officials said the 2,845-ton Dona Marilyn sank Monday in the Visayas Sea, about 300 miles southeast of Manila. It was not clear how many people were lost.
Lt. Rey Esguerra of the coast guard station in Cebu said rescuers found 11 survivors on Maripipi Island and another small island and that four people were found floating in the water.
Esguerra said rescue operations would continue through the night.
The Dona Marilyn was carrying 451 passengers and 60 crew members from Manila to Tacloban on Leyte Island when it radioed a distress call, said Carlos Go, general manager of Sulpicio Lines, owner of the vessel.
Others missing and feared dead from Typhoon Ruby included 25 in the Mindanao Island coastal city of Cagayan de Oro, 15 in Mindanao's Zamboanga del Sur province and about 70 aboard a bus that plunged into a swollen river Monday.
Ruby lashed the main Philippine island, Luzon, with torrential rains and wind gusts of up to 140 mph.
The storm caused widespread flooding on the island, triggering landslides and washing away bridges. Agriculture Secretary Carlos Dominguez said preliminary estimates showed Ruby caused $45.7 million in crop damage.
President Corazon Aquino's spokesman, Teodoro Benigno, said the six-province Bicol region of southeastern Luzon was without electricity Tuesday.
The weather service said Ruby's center passed about 50 miles east of Manila and swept into the provinces of Tarlac, Bulacan and Nueva Ecija, the Philippines' rice-producing heartland.
Government meteorologists said more than nine inches of rain fell at the Manila's airport in 24 hours.
Casualty and damage reports were incomplete because of poor communications. Figures compiled from the Red Cross and various government agencies showed 15 dead in Zamboanga del Sur province, 11 in Cagayan de Oro, 11 in Marikina, six on Camiguin island, two in Surigao City, and one each in Pampanga province, Bulacan and Nueva Ecija.
In Zamboanga, two Philippine navy ships _ a landing ship and a hospital vessel _ sank Monday after being battered by heavy waves. There were no casualties.
Power outages and widespread flooding hit Manila early Tuesday as Ruby approached. Schools, government offices, Manila's two stock exchanges and many private businesses were closed as strong winds buffeted the capital.
Most domestic flights from Manila's airport were canceled.
The Department of Social Welfare said at least 110,000 of the nation's 23 million people were left homeless by the storm.
Schools were closed at the American bases and the U.S. military television station said only essential personnel were on duty.
Maj. Wayne Crist, a spokesman at Clark Air Base, 50 miles north of Manila, reported no major structural damage, but said some aircraft were evacuated to an undisclosed "safe location."