KUALA LUMPUR – Jan. 7, 2020: The massive floods that inundated about half of Jakarta and many other parts of its neighbouring provinces have caused the death of at least 66 people until yesterday, with two or three more unaccounted for.
Despite a respite from the flooding that began on January 1 and with people in some areas beginning the arduous task of cleaning up the mud and piles of rubbish, more rain is forecast in the next few days.
The heavy rain which started to fall on New Year’s eve was reported to be the heaviest in a single day since over 100 years ago and also caused landslides in some areas to the south of the city. In some areas water rose to as high as six metres. But despite the high level and electricity supply being disconnected to prevent electrocution, many residents opted not to move to temporary shelters.
Nine people were reported to have died in Jakarta itself but most of the deaths were in Bogor and to the east in Bekasi province, where vehicles that were swept away on one street ended up overturned or on top of each other.
Although Jakarta and many parts of Indonesia are used to flooding between November and March, this year’s flood is the worst since 2007, when 80 people were reported dead.
The city is situated in a swampy area and many areas are below sea level. The situation is made worse by the high use of underground, which makes Jakarta one of the world’s fastest sinking cities.