CEBU : More than 700 people were missing on Sunday after a Philippine passenger ship capsized in a typhoon that has killed scores and left a trail of destruction across the archipelago. Only four people are so far known to have survived the ferry disaster and they said many passengers did not make it off the Princess of Stars in time. Crowded life-rafts sank in the cold, storm-tossed seas.

Typhoon Rammasun moved northeastwardly off the coast of eastern Japan in the Pacific on Tuesday morning while causing high waves but losing its strength, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. The season's second typhoon, generating winds of up to 126 kilometers per hour, was located about 240 kilometers southeast of Hachijo Island in the Izu island chain and was moving at around 35 kph as of 3 p.m. The island lies about 300 km south of Tokyo. The tropical cyclone is expected to be downgraded to an extratropical depression Tuesday night.

Southern China braced on Thursday for the first typhoon of the year, with almost 22,000 fishing boats called back to harbour, state media said. Typhoon Neoguri was heading north for the island province of Hainan, skirting the coast of Vietnam, and was forecast to make landfall on Friday night or Saturday morning. "Heavy rain and strong gales will hit Guangdong and Hainan with the approach of the typhoon," Xinhua news agency said.