One dead, dozens missing in Lake Toba boat capsize

Indonesian rescuers prepare their boat before they start a search and rescue operation for a sunken boat at Lake Toba, in North Sumarta, Indonesia, on June 19, 2018.
Indonesian rescuers prepare their boat before they start a search and rescue operation for a sunken boat at Lake Toba, in North Sumarta, Indonesia, on June 19, 2018. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

JAKARTA • A boat carrying some 80 passengers capsized in Lake Toba, North Sumatra, yesterday afternoon, with reports that at least one person had drowned.

The medan.tribunnews.com website said the incident occurred in bad weather not long after the KM Sinar Baru sailed from Simanindo at 5pm on its way to Tigaras, in Simalungun.

The boat capsized at 5.30pm. Rescue vessels have been deployed but bad weather is hindering the operation. About three dozen people have been rescued so far.

The hotels on the island in Lake Toba - the world's largest volcanic lake, which is 11/2 times the size of Singapore - were packed for the Hari Raya Aidilfitri holidays, Indonesian media reported.

"The victim is a woman," National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a written statement yesterday evening.

Mr Sutopo said three passengers were rescued by the KMP Sumut 2 and two others by the KMP Sumut 1. The condition of another 14 rescued by the Sinta Damai was not yet known, while 15 others were reportedly saved at Simanindo Port.

THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 19, 2018, with the headline 'One dead, dozens missing in Lake Toba boat capsize'. Print Edition | Subscribe