3 dead, nearly 700 displaced in Phillippine rain

Big waves sank a boat in the southwestern Philippines, killing at least two people and leaving 10 missing while rescuers searched Wednesday for 80 more fishermen after monsoon rains inundated southern villages.

The vessel MV Jociel 2 sank shortly before midnight Tuesday before reaching El Nido on Palawan Island, said coast guard spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Armand Balilo.

One of the passengers managed to contact the coast guard and 22 people were rescued while 10 others are still missing. A child and an elderly person drowned, he said.

The onset of the typhoon season brought heavy rains and strong waves in the southern Mindanao region, where 49 fishermen were rescued while 80 others are still unaccounted for, Balilo said. He said search and rescue operations were ongoing.

Two days of flooding in several southern provinces displaced nearly 700 people and at least one drowned in Sarangani's Glan town, said Benito Ramos, head of the Philippines' disaster response agency. Those who fled were being sheltered in public gymnasiums.

A new storm in the western Pacific was forecast to reach the eastern Philippines later this week and could become the first typhoon of the year. About 20 tropical storms and typhoons each year batter the Philippine archipelago.

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