Authorities had previously said at least 80 people were thought to be on board the ferry that sank in rough weather in Indonesia's Lake Toba. It is believed it may be much more.
At least 128 passengers were missing after a ferry sank in Indonesia's Lake Toba on Monday evening, a search and rescue official said on Tuesday.
"Many people have reported their relatives missing," Budiawan, head of the search and rescue agency based in the nearby city of Medan, told Reuters after a co-ordination meeting.
Authorities had previously said at least 80 people were thought to be on board the ferry that sank in rough weather.
Cellphone video released on Tuesday by the National Disaster Mitigation Agency shows the crew of another ferry attempting to rescue people struggling in the waters shortly after the sinking on Monday evening but being hampered by bad weather and rough waters.
KMP Sumut 1, KMP Sumut 2 dan Kapal Sinta Damai menyelamatkan korban tenggelam di perairan Danau Toba. Gelombang tinggi dan cuaca menjadi kendala. Jumlah penumpang KMP Sinar Bangun diperkirakan 70-130 orang. Belum ada data jumlah penumpang pasti hingga 18/6/2018 malam. pic.twitter.com/OP0O737P19— Sutopo Purwo Nugroho (@Sutopo_PN) June 18, 2018
Local police chief Marudut Liberty Panjaitan said 18 people have been rescued and one death confirmed.
Initial estimates were that 80 people were on board but there was no passenger manifest and the number may range from 70 to 130, disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said on Twitter.
Nugroho said the boat sank at about 5:30pm as it sailed from the mainland to an island.
A survivor identified by Indonesian television as Juwita Sumbayak said the vessel was rocked by high waves and was hit a by a wooden boat before suddenly sinking.
"I was desperate, I was scared to death. I'm afraid my family is dead," she said, weeping.
The wooden ferry had a capacity of 60 passengers but was overloaded and also carrying dozens of motorcycles, said Sri Hardianto, an official at Indonesia's transport ministry.
The 1,145-square kilometer (440-square mile) Lake Toba, formed out of an ancient super volcano, is a popular sightseeing destination on the island of Sumatra. Tens of millions of Indonesians return to their hometowns and take holidays at the end of Ramadan.
Maher Tamba, an official with the local disaster agency, said at least half a dozen vessels searched for survivors since Monday night. Bad weather and high waves hampered the search, he said.
Ferry tragedies are common in Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 17,000 islands, with weak enforcement of safety regulations often to blame.