19 – 23 June 2008
On 21 June 2008, Typhoon Frank (international name, Fengshen), after following an unusual track that traversed seven islands in the Western Visayas, caused massive loss of lives and property. Out of 16 provinces that were damaged, the heaviest hit was Panay islands, where heavy rains and strong winds of up to 195 km per hour caused landslides and flashfloods. There were 644 recorded deaths in Iloilo with destruction of crops and infrastructure amounting to Php 1.7 Billion (Burgos, 2008b).
When Typhoon Frank changed course later in the day of 20 June 2008, it caused the Princess of the Stars, the flagship of the Sulpico Lines fleet, to capsize. The ship was en route to Cebu from Manila but encountered rough seas due to the nearby typhoon. At midday of 21 June 2008, the ferry sent a distress signal and the boat eventually capsized that day. According to Sulpicio Lines, there were 751 passengers listed in the manifest, but it is possible that there were more who were on board the ship (Xinhua, 2008).
Philippine Government. (2008). Philippines: Typhoon Frank leaves P1.6B damages in Western Visayas infra, agri. Philippine Information Agency.
Burgos, N. (2008a). Typhoon puts Iloilo under water. Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Burgos, N. (2008b). Typhoon Frank ravages Western Visayas. The News Today Online.
Dela Cruz, G. (2014). Worst natural disasters in the Philippines. Rappler.
Xinhua News. (2008). “Over 860 on board as Philippine ferry capsized”. Xinhua News Agency.