Burst dike floods dozens of homes
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Nothing left to do: Ratna (left), a resident in Ulujami Raya, Pesanggrahan, Jakarta, observes water on Saturday that has submerged the area for three days. (JP/Wendra Ajistyatama)
Dozens of families were evacuated on Sunday after floodwaters burst a river embankment in the low-lying Kampung Makasar residential area, East Jakarta.
Jakarta Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) chief Arfan Arkili said the city administration had prepared shelters and medical posts nearby.
“The facilities had been readied as part of preparation for the rainy season,” Arfan said.
Agency workers had also been deployed to block overflowing waters using sacks filled with sand and rubble. “It’s a makeshift structure. The Public Works Agency will have to conduct permanent repairs on the embankment later,” he said.
Gagah Garu Setiawan, head of Kampung Makasar District public health center, said a total of 80 families from two neighborhoods had been forced to seek refuge.
Flooding, he said, was a regular incident in the area. “We routinely see floods caused by overflowing waters from the Cipinang River. The last big one was in 2007,” Gagah said as quoted by kompas.com.
Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo visited the neighborhood early in the afternoon and distributed a total of Rp 40 million (US$4,161) in cash and rice.
The governor said the city needed a long time to handle its flooding problems. “River dredging is needed, but we cannot do it when the rivers are overflowing. We will do what we can now and will do what we can later,” Jokowi said.
Jokowi also distributed Rp 25 million in cash and rice in Kedoya Selatan in Kebon Jeruk, South Jakarta.
A number of areas across the capital were also flooded on Saturday following heavy rain on Friday night and Saturday morning.
Residents coming back from evacuation earlier this week had to leave their homes again as floodwater from Krukut River hit their neighborhood in Kampung Pulo in Pondok Labu, South Jakarta.
Saturday morning rain also inundated a road near Fatmawati Hospital in Pondok Labu, blocking traffic in the area around noon. Overflowing water from Angke River inundated hundreds of houses in Ciledug Indah 1 residential area in Tangerang.
The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) forecast heavy rains with strong winds for Greater Jakarta throughout the weekend.
The agency said the intermittent downpours of the last several days would be followed by heavy rains and perhaps even tornadoes. The agency warned residents in southern and eastern parts of Jakarta to expect higher rainfall.
The rainy season in Jakarta is expected to peak in January, during which rain may fall at a rate of more than 100 millimeters per day, with a small chance of reaching more than 200 millimeters per day.
The BMKG also reported that with southern areas of the city entering the rainy season earlier, northern areas were forecast heavy rain on regular basis in December.