1 dead, dozens missing in Lake Toba boat accident

1 dead dozens missing in Lake Toba boat accident

Indonesian authorities resumed a search for survivors on Tuesday after a ferry with at least 80 passengers on board sank in rough weather in Lake Toba, a popular tourist destination in North Sumatra.

A woman cries as she finds out her family are listed as missing, at the Lake Toba ferry port in the province of North Sumatra, Indonesia, June 19, 2018, after a boat capsized the day before.

Officials say more than half a dozen vessels and 350 people including search and rescue personnel, police, soldiers and fishermen are involved in the search.

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.

Although the rescue operations stopped two hours due to bad weather, they will continue with the search for survivors, the agency confirmed.

It is one of the deepest lakes in the world and covers some 1,145 square kilometres (440 square miles).

"Many people have reported their relatives missing", Budiawan, head of the search and rescue agency based in the nearby city of Medan, told Reuters.

Authorities believe the craft was operating illegally with no manifest and the passengers had not been given tickets.

Muslim-majority Indonesia has been celebrating the Islamic festival of Eid since Friday and millions go on holiday during the festivities, with Lake Toba a popular tourist destination.

It was not clear if any foreigners were on board.

Ferry accidents are common in Indonesia - a 17,000 island archipelago nation where many rely on boats to get around.

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 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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