Indonesian Ferry Capsizes in Cyclone Seroja

Jatra i
The ferry Jatra I (file image courtesy Pt. ASDP Indonesia Ferry)

Published Apr 6, 2021 4:10 PM by The Maritime Executive

An Indonesian ro/pax ferry capsized at a pier at the port of Kupang as Cyclone Seroja swept through East Nusa Tenggara province on April 5. The cyclone caused extensive damage on shore, including more than 100 confirmed deaths.

The 1980-built ferry Jatra I sustained a leak following a collision caused by the storm, maritime secretary Shelvy Arifin told Antara News. Passenger ferry services had already been suspended in advance of the cyclone's arrival for safety reasons, and all of the crew were already on shore, so no injuries were reported. 

Plans for a salvage operation are under way, but the work will have to wait for clear weather. 

A second vessel, the smaller ro/pax Namparnos, went adrift during the storm and grounded on Kambing Island. Both ferries belong to Pt. ASDP Indonesia Ferry, and both had been introduced to new routes in the province last month.

Bystander video from the region shows that heavy winds and waves affected many smaller vessels as well, including at least one midsize fishing vessel that went aground. The Indonesian Navy reports that fishing vessels at the port of Kupang sustained considerable damage. 

At last 128 people have been killed by flooding and landslides in the province, and 72 have been reported missing. Thousands have evacuated to escape danger.