Remembering Fengshen: 13 Years Later

Credit: JMA/MTSAT-1R.

It’s been 13 years since Typhoon Frank (Int’l name Fengshen) brought catastrophic damage to the Philippines, and caused the sinking of the M/V Princess of the Stars on June 21st, 2008, off the coast of central Sibuyan Island, Romblon Province.

The storm peaked as a 195 kph (120 mph) typhoon with minimum central pressure of 960 millibars and caused torrential rain that led to widespread flooding, forcing people onto their rooftops and seek refuge in public shelters.

A forecast track map issued by PAGASA for Typhoon “Frank” located over Biliran Province on June 20th, 2008.
(Credit: PAGASA)

Storm Synopsis

Fengshen formed east of Mindanao on June 18th and was designated as Tropical Depression 07W and received the local name “Frank.”

It slowly moved northwest and intensified as Tropical Storm “Fengshen” in the 19th.

The storm then moved West-Northwest and intensified into a Typhoon before making landfall in Llorente, Eastern Samar and continued to intensify after landfalls over Biliran.

Moving into the Visayan and Capiz Seas, Frank peaked as a Category 3-equivalent Typhoon.

It then moved North-Northwest and made landfall over Romblon and made its last landfall in the Philippines over the Quezon Province.

Frank then weakened to a Tropical Storm as it emerged into the South China Sea, made landfall near Hong Kong, and became a remnant low and then dissipated by June 27th.

The Aftermath

Frank caused ₱13.525 billion ($327 billion) in damages with 557 people dead, 87 missing, and 826 injured in the wake of the storm (excluding the fatalities on M/V Princess of the Stars).

The storm affected about 4.8 million people and caused 326,321 partially/totally damaged homes.

The name “Frank” was retired and was replaced by Ferdie. The WMO Typhoon Committee did not retire the international name Fengshen.

Filipino coast guard rescue personnel approach the bow of the sunken M/V Princess of the Stars, off the coast of central Sibuyan Island on June 23rd, 2008.
(Credit: AFP – Agence France-Presse)

M/V Princess of the Stars

The ferry M/V Princess of the Stars deported from Manila on June 20th, even though Frank already made landfall over Samar Island.

It was permitted to sail because “it was large enough to stay afloat in typhoon’s periphery.”

With the unexpected movement of the storm, the ferry sailed into the eye of the storm.

By 12:55PM PHT, the ship sent a distress signal, then the ship lost radio contact.

A total of 814 people dead and missing and only 56 known survivors.

A months long body recovery operation took place, where only 312 bodies have been recovered.


A full report of Typhoon Fengshen can be found here:


Article written by Justine, formatted by Preston Schenk.

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