At least nine people have been killed and dozens are missing after several ships capsized off the coast of Indonesia’s Borneo, rescuers announced this Friday (16) due to a violent storm.
In total, about ten fishing boats and two tugboats were wrecked on Wednesday in East Kalimantan province, where a storm raised waves five meters high. These accidents had not been announced by paramedics until this Friday.
Yopi Harayadi, head of the rescue team in the provincial capital Pontianak, said nine people were confirmed dead, but 46 others were missing. It was also reported that 81 people were rescued.
The storm flooded nearly 50 cities, destroying homes and buildings. Altogether 15,000 people were affected by various types of damage.
“14 boats tried to escape from the storm, but it was too strong and sank,” Harayadi told AFP. There were no deaths or injuries on the ground due to the storm, he said.
A helicopter was sent as part of a sea search, but bad weather hampered the operation.
Maritime accidents are common in Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 17,000 islands where ferries and ships, which are widely used, often fail to meet safety standards.