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Rescuers battle waves after Indonesia ferry sinks, 128 missing

21 June, 2018, 02:20 | Author: Lucille Rivera
  • A woman cries as she finds out her family is one of missing passengers at Lake Toba ferry port in the province of North Sumatra after a boat overturned

The search for victims of a ferry that sank in the lake of an ancient supervolcano crater in Indonesia will resume on Wednesday with divers and an underwater drone to scour the depths for at least 128 missing passengers.

Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi sent teams to investigate the incident of the boat sank in Lake Toba, North Sumatra on Monday, June 18.

He said an estimated 80 passengers were on board, but he said officials were working to confirm that number.

Local officials said dozens more passengers are still missing a day after the accident.

Lake Toba fills the caldera of a giant volcano that erupted some 75,000 years ago - one of the world's biggest eruptions which left behind a 450-metre (1,500 feet) deep lake. Police also made public the names of 94 people confirmed as missing but said the figure.

Cellphone video released by the National Disaster Mitigation Agency shows the crew of another ferry attempting to rescue people struggling in the waters shortly after the sinking but being hampered by bad weather and rough waters.

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Authorities said they believe the ship was operating illegally with no manifest or passenger tickets.

About 130 people have been reported missing by relatives in the area but it was not clear if they were all on the vessel, authorities said.

Indonesia has been celebrating the Islamic festival of Eid since Friday when millions go on holiday, with Lake Toba a popular tourist destination.

Ferry tragedies are common in Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 17,000 islands, with weak enforcement of safety regulations often to blame.

In 2007, the passenger ferry Levina caught fire whilst journeying to the island of Bangka from the Indonesian capital Jakarta, killing at least 51 people.

Last week, a traditional wooden boat with about 40 people capsized in the island of Sulawesi, killing more than a dozen people.

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