Rescuers battle waves after Indonesia ferry sinks, 128 missing

Rescuers battle waves after Indonesia ferry sinks, 128 missing

The hotels on the island in Lake Toba - the world's largest volcanic lake, which is 1-1/2 times Singapore's size - were packed for the Hari Raya Puasa holidays, Indonesian media reported.

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.

Mr Nugroho said search and rescue efforts had involved two other ferries and one wooden boat had been hampered by weather conditions in the area on Monday night.

Local police chief Marudut Liberty Panjaitan said 18 people have been rescued and one death confirmed.

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At least 80 people were missing after a ferry capsized in Indonesia's Lake Toba late on Monday.

"There are 65 people who say their relatives are missing".

It was not clear if any foreigners were on board.

Authorities have deployed rescue vessels and the search is ongoing, but bad weather is hindering the operation.

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"The rescued passengers have been treated at Simanindo community health centre", Samosir Disaster Mitigation Agency head Maher Tamba said.

The wooden ferry had a capacity of 60 passengers but may have been carrying 80 people and dozens of motorcycles on Monday, said Sri Hardianto, an official at Indonesia's transport ministry.

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.

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

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