Rescuers hunt for victims of ferry disaster on Indonesian supervolcano lake

1 dead dozens missing in Lake Toba boat accident

Dozens of people are missing from a ferry that sank on Indonesia's Lake Toba, casting a tragic pall over holidays marking the end of the Muslim holy month.

Authorities were trying to confirm the total number of passengers who had been on board the ferry, but said at least 128 people were missing.

The search was called off Monday evening due to bad weather and low visibility, but it resumed Tuesday morning with about 350 personnel involved.

Relatives weep at Tigaras port after learning that their family members are among the passengers of a ferry which sank on Monday, in Simalungun, North Sumatera, Indonesia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said earlier there were unconfirmed reports of up to 130 people on board the ferry, which was hit by high waves and strong winds.

"It might take time", he said, adding that bodies may be trapped in the sunken vessel.

"Whether they were all passengers on the boat or not, we don't know", transport ministry official Sri Hardianto told AFP.




"Evacuation is weather constrained", Disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho tweeted.

At least one person has been found dead and 18 others were rescued, authorities said. "I'm afraid my family is dead", Juwita Sumbayak, a survivor said, The Age reported.

Eighteen survivors have been pulled from rough waters on Lake Toba, a popular tourist destination and one of the deepest lakes in the world.

The vessel overturned in Lake Toba in the province of North Sumatra, more than 1,300km (800 miles) north-west of the capital, Jakarta.

TV footage from Monday showed a group of passengers bobbing in the choppy water as a rescue boat approached.

Maritime accidents are common in Indonesia, a 17,000 island archipelago nation where many depend on ferries and other boats to get around, despite lax safety standards.

A longboat carrying around 43 people sank off Makassar on Sulawesi island last week, killing 13, and a speedboat carrying 30 passengers sank off South Sumatra, killing at least two.

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