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Yangtze river cyclone engulfs Chinese ferry with 458 aboard

A passenger ship carrying 458 people sank in a cyclone in the Jianli section in Hubei Province of the Yangtze River Monday night.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has ordered all-out rescue efforts, sank at around 9:30 p.m. after being caught in a cyclone, state broadcaster CCTV reported citing the Yangtze River navigation administration.

The ship was heading from Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, to southwest China's Chongqing city carrying 406 passengers, five travel agency workers and 47 crew members.

Premier Li Keqiang, along with Vice Premier Ma Kai and State Councilor Yang Jing, has left for the site of the disaster to direct the rescue and emergency response work.

Strong wind and heavy rain is hampering the continuing search for survivors, with weather forecasts predicting the heavy rain will continue. Rainfall induced natural disaster in southern parts of China last week have claimed lives of 16 people as of Monday morning.

Dozens of vessels are helping in the search and rescue, including fishing boats, Xinhua News Agency said.