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Rough Seas From Typhoon Kalmaegi Sink Philippine Ferry

A Philippine ferry sank on Saturday evening near Panaon Island, forcing all of its passengers and crew members overboard.

According to a report from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, two people have died and three people have been injured. A total of 144 people have been rescued with the search for others still ongoing.

The ferry, named Maharlika-2, encountered steering casualty at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday (local time), 6 nautical miles northwest of Binit Point, Panaon Island in the Philippines.

Passengers and crew were on the ferry for almost two hours before abandoning the ship.

Weather is believed to have played a major role in the incident, as Typhoon Kalmaegi was churning in waters to the north, stirring up rough seas in the region.

"Although the center of Kalmaegi was located well to the north of the incident, outer bands of the typhoon could have produced locally strong winds creating rough surf and strong currents," said AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Adam Douty.

The report states that the Philippine Air Force and Coast Guard are assisting in the search for others.

Typhoon Kalmaegi was nearing landfall across the northern Philippines Sunday afternoon and will eventually threaten China and Vietnam.