Held to ransom?

Philippines villagers are blocking attempts to salvage four grounded ships until they get paid.

More than 100 families near Tacloban City have asked shipowners for financial assistance after the vessels destroyed their homes when they were forced ashore during super-typhoon Yolanda last November.

They want PHP 50,000 ($1,100) per family, the Sun Star daily reported.

The ships are named as Unilink Shipping Corp's RKK 1, the Star Hilongos of Roble Shipping Corp, the David Legaspi of Candano Shipping Corp, and the LCT Rosman, owned by businessman Richmond Ng of Manila.

All the owners have pledged financial assistance, but the amount has yet to be assessed.

Roble said the company has been paying locals to watch the vessel.