The MP for the Kiribati island where a missing ferry departed from says many of the victims are likely to be High School children.
The Butiraoi, which may have been carrying as many as 100 people, vanished after leaving Nonouti, an island of about 2,000 people, on January the 18th.
Seven survivors were found drifing in a dinghy on Sunday and an international search for others continues, but chances grow slimmer by the day.
The Nonouti MP, former prime minister Sir Ieremia Tabai, says his constituents are both devastated and angry.
He told Jamie Tahana it appears the disaster was completely avoidable, and the president's response has been far from adequate.