24 dead, 31 still missing after boats capsize in central Indonesia storm
- A dozen fishing vessels and a pair of tugboats were swamped by waves as high as five metres when the storm hit Indonesia's section of Borneo island a week ago.
Rescuers have found 24 bodies and dozens remain missing after a string of boats hit by a storm in waters off West Kalimantan province in central Indonesia capsized last week, according to news agencies. The top rescuer of West Kalimantan province told Xinhua news agency that they are continuing search and rescue operations for the remaining 31 people missing after the incident.
"The death toll rises to 24 with 31 still our target in the search and rescue operation," Xinhua quoted Yopi Haryadi, head of the provincial search and rescue office, as saying.
A dozen fishing vessels and a pair of tugboats were swamped by waves as high as five metres when the storm hit the area a week ago. Haryadi reportedly said that some of the vessels were on their way to the coast following warnings of extreme weather conditions. As many as 83 people on the vessels were rescued alive during the search and rescue operation, he added.
The storm also destroyed homes and other buildings in the area, affecting nearly 15,000 residents. The head of the operational unit of the provincial search and rescue office, Eryk Subariyanto, reportedly told Xinhua that the search and rescue operation will be carried out for three more days but the weather conditions may hamper the mission. Apart from ships, a helicopter and a plane have been involved in the mission.
(With inputs from agencies)