Severe flooding across several areas in the Indonesian capital yesterday forced more than a thousand people to flee their homes, with the country’s meteorology agency warning that conditions were set to continue for the next week.
About 1,380 Jakarta residents were evacuated from southern and eastern areas of the city, home to 10 million people, after floodwaters reached up to 1.8m high in some areas, Sabdo Kurnianto, the acting head of Jakarta’s disaster mitigation agency, said in a statement.
No casualties had been reported, he said.
People posted photographs on social media of residents wading through shoulder-high muddy waters, vehicles almost entirely submerged and search teams evacuating elderly residents in rubber dinghies in the peak of the monsoon season.
“Two hundred neighborhoods have been affected, according to the latest data,” Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan told local television early yesterday, adding that more than two dozen evacuation centers have been prepared across the city.
“The rain has stopped, but water from other areas is still affecting Jakarta. Hopefully it won’t hit the city center and when the water recedes people can resume their activities,” he said.
The floods come at a time when Indonesia is already grappling with the highest caseload and death tally from COVID-19 in Southeast Asia and an economic recession.
The Indonesian Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysical Agency (BMKG) has warned that the heaviest rain of the season might fall in and around the densely populated capital in the coming days, with extreme weather, including heavy rain, thunder and strong winds, expected throughout next week.
“These are critical times that we need to be aware of,” BMKG head Dwikorita Karnawati said.
“Jakarta and its surrounding areas are still in the peak period of the rainy season, which is estimated to continue until the end of February or early March,” she said.
The BMKG said that Jakarta would be on alert for the next four days with data from the meteorology agency showing intense rainfall in the past 24 hours, with the area of Pasar Minggu, in Jakarta’s south, recording 226mm of rain since Friday.
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