Jan 06, 2020

Jakarta Floods Leave Dozens Dead

Heavy flooding has displaced approximately 60,000 Jakarta residents and killed at least 60 people. 


Severe flooding in Jakarta, Indonesia has killed at least 60 people and forced residents to flee their homes, according to the Guardian.

Torrential rains have been pounding the greater Jakarta region since New Year's Eve, causing 62,453 people to be evacuated to temporary shelters, reported the Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management. Most of the victims died in Bogor district and East Jakarta; 17 people were swept away by the floods, five were buried by landslides and five were electrocuted.

Heavy rains are predicted to continue through to Jan. 10, reported CNN. Residents trekked through chest-high flood waters and the flooding is the worst the city has seen in decades. 

The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysical Agency measured 15 inches of rain at an East Jakarta airport on Jan. 1, which is the highest flood reading since 1996, reported CNN.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo blamed the situation on delays to the construction of flood control infrastructure in a post on Twitter.

Indonesia’s air force seeded clouds with salt to try to stop rainfall, according to Reuters. Indonesia’s Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) and the air force carried out three rounds of cloud seeding and expect more to occur when needed. This tactic aims to break up clouds before they reach Jakarta.

“We will do cloud seeding every day as needed,” said BPPT Chief Hammam Riza.

Jakarta is one of the fastest-sinking cities in the world. In 2018, the government announced that it is relocating the megalopolis, which is a project estimated to cost the equivalent of around $34 billion.

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