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At least 36 dead after ferry capsizes near Philippines

The ferry sinks near Ormoc City Credit: RTV

At least 36 people died when a ferry capsized near the Philippines, according to local media.

The boat, carrying 173, overturned near the pier at Ormoc City. Many survivors have been taken to hospital.

118 people have been rescued, while another 19 are still missing.

"Search and rescue operations are ongoing. Initially we learned that it was due to big waves," said Rey Gozon, director of the office of civil defence for the region.

Scores, sometimes hundreds, of people die each year in ferry accidents in the Philippines, an archipelago of 7,100 islands with a notoriously poor record for maritime safety. Overcrowding is common, and many of the vessels are in bad condition.

Rescuers work to save stranded passengers Credit: RTV

Death toll of Philippines factory fire rises to 72

The death toll of a blaze which ripped through a flip flop factory in the Philippines has risen to 72, firefighters have revealed.

A welding machine is believed to have caused the blaze, giving off sparks which set chemicals alight Credit: Reuters

Police in the country believe the fire, at a rubber slipper factory in Manila, began when chemicals near the main entrance set alight thanks to sparks from a welding machine, triggering a huge explosion.

The fire has renewed concerns about health and safety standards, which have been a key focus of President Benigno Aquino's time in office.

Between 200 and 300 workers were inside the footwear factory, which manufactured on behalf of Kentex Manufacturing Inc, at the time of the fire.

A total of 72 bodies have been removed from the factory so far Credit: Reuters

Acting director of the Philippine National Police, Leonardo Espina, said specialist arson investigators were on the scene, and vowed there would be action against those responsible.

Definitely there will be charges here, because people died. Regardless of whether it was an accident or arson, people died.

We are just determining what exactly happened so that we can clearly define what charges to file.

– Leonardo Espina, Philippine National Police

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Fire at Philippines rubber factory kills 45, 26 still missing

Inside the gutted footwear factory in Valenzuela, Metro Manila Credit: Reuters

A fire at a rubber slipper factory in the Philippines has killed 45 people, with 26 workers still missing.

The two-storey factory in the capital Manila is owned by Kentex Manufacturing Inc, which makes flip-flops and slippers.

Rexlon Gatchalian, mayor of Valenzuela city in Manila, said he was hoping some of the missing workers, most of whom were trapped by flames and thick black smoke, had managed to escape the blaze.

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Pope Francis prays for the dead and survivors in Tacloban

Pope Francis was met with storms as he arrived in the central Philippines city of Tacloban to pray for the dead and comfort survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, the country's worst natural disaster that killed 6,300 people barely a year ago.

Pope Francis prays for the dead and survivors in Tacloban. Credit: PA

Tens of thousands of people wearing yellow raincoats cheered when Francis emerged from his plane in the coastal city of Tacloban 650 km (400 miles) southeast of Manila in steady rain and strong winds.

Death toll in Philippines rises to 27

The death toll in the Philippines has risen to 27 in the aftermath of tropical storm Hagiput, according to the country's Red Cross.

Richard Gordon, chairman of the Philippine Red Cross said: "We now have a total of 27 dead, most of them in Borongan, Eastern Samar."

Gordon also confirmed around 2,500 houses were totally or partially destroyed in Borongan during this weekend's storm.

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'At least 21 dead' after Philippines battered by storm

The Philippine Red Cross have reported that at least 21 people have died in the aftermath of Typhoon Hagupit making landfall this weekend.

Strong winds and heavy rain brought by Typhoon Hagupit battered parts of the Philippines this weekend Credit: REUTERS/Romeo Ranoc

It is believed that many of the storm's victims drowned as flood waters rose in Borongan, the main town in Eastern Samar where Hagupit first hit.

Gwendolyn Pang, secretary-general of the Philippine National Red Cross said: "We have confirmed reports that 21 people died in Eastern Samar, 16 of them in Borongan."

Typhoon Hagupit had its status downgraded to a tropical storm today as its strength weakened as it continued to make its way across the country.

Typhoon downgraded to 'tropical storm'

Typhoon Hagupit, known locally as Ruby, has been downgraded to the status of tropical storm.

The Philippines evacuated more than a million people ahead of the storm making landfall on Saturday and hundreds remain in shelters as Hagupit continues to cross the country as it heads to the capital Manila.

The country's official Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration reported the downgrading of the storm's status on its twitter feed.

Million evacuated as typhoon sweeps across Philippines

Torrential rain and high winds are still sweeping across the central Philippines, as a powerful typhoon moves slowly across the islands.

After thousands died in a similar storm last year, a million people were evacuated before this typhoon struck.

ITV News Senior International Correspondent John Irvine reports.

Red Cross sends 28 food trucks to help typhoon victims

The International Committee of the Red Cross has sent 28 trucks loaded with food for those affected by Typhoon Hagupit in the Philippines:

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