A woman prays for her son, a passenger on the KM Sinar Bangun ferry which sank yesterday in Lake Toba, in Simalungun, North Sumatra, Indonesia June 19, 2018 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Irsan Mulyadi/ via REUTERS
Indonesian authorities had rescued 18 people by Tuesday (June 19) morning following the sinking of a ferry which had at least 80 passengers on board in Lake Toba, a popular tourist destination in North Sumatra.
One passenger who was on the ferry which was hit by the weather was confirmed dead. Two other ferries and a wooden boat were involved in the rescue effort.
Ferry accidents are common in Indonesia, a vast archipelago, especially during the Islamic holiday of Eid when millions of people make the annual journey by land, sea, and air to their hometowns after the holy fasting month of Ramadan. A longboat carrying around 43 people sank off Makassar on Sulawesi island last week, killing 13, and a speedboat carrying 30 passengers sank off South Sumatra, killing at least two.
Lake Toba, a popular tourist destination, fills the caldera of a giant dormant volcano and is one of the deepest lakes in the world.—Reuters
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has declared May 25 a regular holiday in observance of Eid‘l Fitr, the end of the Muslim community’s fasting month of Ramadan.
The declaration was based on the recommendation of the National Commission of Muslim Filipinos.
Proclamation Number 944, likewise, reminded the public of the quarantine regulations such as wearing of face masks and physical distancing to be observed on the duration of the holiday due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Under government order, mass gatherings such as religious events are still restricted in different parts of the Philippines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. MNP (with inputs from Rosalie Coz)
The idyllic holiday island of Bali has also been hit by the effects of the coronavirus crisis, with 40,000 hotel bookings already having been cancelled and the island’s economy standing to lose almost $110 million per month as Bali’s Tourism Board reported.
With only two cases reported so far, the island particularly suffers from the cancellation of all flights to and from China, one of its biggest tourist markets.
Around a million Chinese tourists visit the holiday island every year. It is the second-largest group of foreign arrivals after Australians.
Bali’s airport spokesman told state news agency Antara this week that in the first half of February about 740,000 people visited the island, 16.25% fewer than the same period last year, despite precautionary measures like spraying disinfectants or measuring the temperature of all passengers upon arrival.
Bali’s Deputy Governor, Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati, told media after a meeting of the local parliament that tourism in Bali has declined by 30 percent due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Tourists who lounged at Bali’s idyllic beaches said the situation was still manageable as only a few positive cases had been reported.
Indonesia President, Joko Widodo, had announced on Monday that a mother and daughter had tested positive to the virus. The discovery of the first cases came after some medical experts had raised concerns about lack of vigilance and a risk of undetected cases in the country of more than 260 million people. (REUTERS CONNECT)
(Production: I Wayan Sukarda, Sultan Anshori, Heru Asprihanto, Ute Swart)
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