Floods that have killed five people and sent over 100,000 people fleeing their homes in Indonesia's capital wrought more havoc yesterday, with many parts of the city under neck-deep water and authorities warning more rivers may burst their banks.
Two days of incessant rain triggered floods in Jakarta that inundated thousands of homes, government offices and busi-nesses on Friday, forcing authorities to cut off electricity and water supplies.
Waters had receded slightly yesterday in some city-center districts but were rising in outlying areas, media reports said. Several main roads leading to the city of 12 million people were blocked, and the rail network was crippled.
Five people had died, having been either drowned or electrocuted, and about 106,000 people had either fled their homes or been rescued by soldiers using dinghies, said Sunardi, an official at the city's disaster relief center. Like many Indonesians, Sunardi goes by a single name.
They are staying with family or in mosques, schools and government buildings on higher ground, he said.
Hendri, an official monitoring waters levels at sluice gates on major rivers, said rains falling in the hills south of Jakarta could result in more flooding.
"We must be on guard. The weather is still our enemy here," Hendri said.
"Those who live in flood prone areas, please seek refuge," he added.
The country's meteorology department were forecasting more rains yesterday and over the next two weeks.
Meanwhile, Environment Minister Rachmat Witoelar has blamed excessive construction on water catchment areas for the floods.
Witoelar said excessive construction on natural drainage areas had led to the floods, the state Antara news agency reported late on Friday.
"There are too many malls in the capital city," he said.
Jakarta has undergone a construction boom recently as the economy recovers to pre-1997 Asian financial crisis levels.
The minister said many developers had not paid enough attention to the ecological impact of their construction projects.
Some 13 rivers crisscross Jakarta, with 78 zones considered at risk of easily flooding, including densely-populated districts.
Old Batavia, the former colonial port under the Dutch from where Jakarta has expanded, was built on marshland. Certain areas of the capital still remain below sea level and have weak drainage, with major tides resulting in the outflow of rainwater slowing down.
To improve the situation, authorities have for quite some time envisioned constructing an East Jakarta Canal that would be some 24km long.
So far only about a third of it has been built and the city council earlier this month reportedly cut the budget allocated to buy land for the project.
TARNISHED LEGACY: Woodrow Wilson served as the university’s president before becoming the US’ 28th leader, but his racism was ‘significant and consequential’ Princeton University is removing former US president Woodrow Wilson’s name from its public policy school and one of its residential colleges after trustees concluded that the 28th president’s “racist thinking and policies” made him “an inappropriate namesake.” The Ivy League school’s trustees made the decision on Friday, according to a statement on Saturday. It comes at a time of widespread rethinking of the US’ racial legacy. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, energized by a series of high-profile deaths of black Americans, has resulted in the removal of Confederate monuments, flags and symbols of racism across the US. Deleting Wilson’s name at Princeton
‘FULLY ENCLOSED’: Residents of Anxin County would be confined to their homes and would only be allowed out once a day to buy necessities such as food and medicine China yesterday imposed a strict lockdown on nearly half a million people near the capital to contain a fresh COVID-19 cluster as authorities warned the outbreak was still “severe and complicated.” After China largely brought the virus under control, hundreds have been infected in Beijing and cases have emerged in Hebei Province. Health officials said that Anxin County — about 150km from Beijing — would be “fully enclosed and controlled,” the same strict measures imposed at the height of the pandemic in the city of Wuhan earlier this year. Only one person from each family would be allowed to go out once a
Japan said it opposed changes to the G7 nations as it pushed back against a reform plan by US President Donald Trump that would have rival South Korea this year join in an expanded meeting. Tokyo has told the US it stands against South Korea’s participation on the grounds of differences in policy on China and North Korea, Kyodo News reported this weekend, citing more than one source related to Japanese and US diplomacy. Japan also wants to maintain its status as the only Asian country in the group, the news agency added. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga yesterday told reporters that
‘CHAPITOS’: An ex-DEA agent said the sons of the former cartel head are engaged in a battle for control, with the health of the man temporarily in charge a factor The fight for control of drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s legacy spilled into the open on Thursday after a gun battle between rival Mexican gangs left 16 dead, authorities said. The 16 men, heavily armed and wearing bulletproof vests, died in a six-hour running shootout near the rural town of Tepuche in northwestern Sinaloa province. “A van with seven bodies was located” after an initial clash, while nine bodies were discovered following a second exchange, Sinaloa Minister of Security Cristobal Castaneda told reporters. Castaneda said that Wednesday’s clash near Tepuche, 25km from the capital of Sinaloa, Culiacan, was “part of a struggle