Flood-hit city evac­u­ated

Pretoria News - - WORLD - | EPA

TENS OF thou­sands of peo­ple were evac­u­ated in In­done­sia’s cap­i­tal, Jakarta, yes­ter­day af­ter flash floods and land­slides killed up to 26 peo­ple amid some of the heav­i­est rain in more than 20 years, with more del­uges fore­cast.

The flood­ing, among the dead­li­est in years, caused chaos in parts of South­east Asia’s big­gest city, with train lines blocked and power out­ages in some ar­eas. Swathes of Jakarta and nearby towns were in­un­dated af­ter heavy rain fell on New Year’s Eve and into the early hours of New Year’s Day.

So­cial af­fairs min­istry data showed 26 peo­ple had been killed in the flood­ing, up from the ear­lier toll of 21.

By yes­ter­day, more than 62 000 peo­ple had been evac­u­ated in Jakarta alone, a dis­as­ter mit­i­ga­tion agency spokesper­son said, al­though later in the day he told news chan­nel Metro TV the num­ber of evac­uees was down to about 35 000 peo­ple.

Rain­fall at an air­port in East Jakarta mea­sured 37.7cm on Wednesday, the high­est daily read­ing dur­ing ma­jor floods since 1996, ac­cord­ing to the Me­te­o­rol­ogy, Cli­ma­tol­ogy and Geo­physics Agency.

Umar Dani, 52, and his fam­ily were evac­u­ated overnight from his home in East Jakarta on a rub­ber boat af­ter wa­ter lev­els rose up to his neck.

“It has not flooded for so long here. We didn’t have the chance to bring any­thing,” he said.

“I have to live on the streets now.” Pres­i­dent Joko Wi­dodo told re­porters evac­u­a­tion and safety measures should be pri­ori­tised and called for more co-or­di­na­tion be­tween city ad­min­is­tra­tions and the cen­tral gov­ern­ment.

On his Twit­ter page, Wi­dodo blamed de­lays in flood con­trol in­fra­struc­ture projects for the flood­ing. He said some projects had been de­layed since 2017 due to land ac­qui­si­tion prob­lems.

Jakarta gov­er­nor Anies Baswedan said author­i­ties had de­ployed hun­dreds of pumps to suck wa­ter from res­i­den­tial ar­eas across the cap­i­tal, which had al­lowed some peo­ple re­turn home.

“They want to re­turn home im­me­di­ately and start clean­ing up their houses as soon as they are able to en­ter their houses as wa­ter re­cedes,” Baswedan told re­porters dur­ing a visit to a densely pop­u­lated area in East Jakarta af­fected by the flood.

The mit­i­ga­tion agency said on its Twit­ter page that wa­ter lev­els had come down in a few af­fected ar­eas.

Author­i­ties, how­ever, warned peo­ple to re­main vig­i­lant as “ex­treme weather” was ex­pected to con­tinue un­til Tues­day.

Dwiko­rita Kar­nawati, head of the Me­te­o­rol­ogy, Cli­ma­tol­ogy and Geo­physics Agency, said heavy rain­fall might con­tinue un­til mid-Fe­bru­ary. to


RES­CUERS evac­u­ate a boy from a flooded area in Jakarta, In­done­sia, yes­ter­day.

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