Alwaght- The number of people missing after a ferry capsized at Indonesia’s Lake Toba topped 180, Reuters reported.
Indonesian authorities raised an estimate of the number of people missing from the initial 80 to 180 two days after the wooden tourist boat sank in a lake formed in the crater of an ancient volcano, Reuters reported.
Divers and an underwater drone joined the search of Lake Toba on Sumatra island on Wednesday as tearful relatives of gathered at the small port in Tigaras, awaiting any news.
The new estimate on the number missing is three times the ferry’s capacity. The doomed vessel had a capacity for only 60 passengers and was also carrying dozens of motorcycles, another transport ministry official has said.
Eighteen survivors were picked up soon after the overcrowded ferry sank early Monday evening, as the wind picked up and waters turned rough on the lake.
Dozens of desperate family members crowded around as a third body was brought ashore at Tigaras on Wednesday morning.
Searchers expect to find many more victims trapped in the doomed vessel once they locate where it came to rest in the 450-metre (1,500 feet) deep lake.
“We have the coordinates from when it sank, but we need to verify it,” said Budiawan, head of the National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS) in Medan.
“We’re searching for 180 people,” Budiawan said, revising the estimate after relatives and friends came forward to report more missing.
A team of 25 divers, including marines, were searching for the vessel, along with a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV), though that can only operate up to a depth of 380 meters, he said. An ongoing search on the surface of the lake had so far yielded little.
Spread over 1,145 square km (450 square miles), Lake Toba fills the caldera of a giant volcano that erupted some 75,000 years ago, in one of the world’s biggest eruptions.
The lake is a popular tourism destination although there has been no information yet on whether foreigners were among the missing.