Police alert on thefts in Pluit
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Not a jolly ride: A man evacuates his family from his flooded house in the Pluit area of North Jakarta on Sunday using a jet ski. Flood waters in the area were up to one meter. (JP/Nurhayati)
Officers beefed up security on Sunday in an upscale neighborhood in the subdistrict of Pluit, North Jakarta, following a theft at a convenience store in the area.
North Jakarta Police chief Sr. Comr. Muhammad Iqbal said the police had arrested five people who had allegedly stole items from a 7-Eleven convenience store earlier on Sunday.
“We will conduct security patrols for 24 hours to avoid another incident,” he told The Jakarta Post.
Iqbal said police and army officers as well as residents had been working together to secure the neighborhood and help evacuate residents who were trapped in their houses by the flood.
“We’ve applied a one-gate system to patrol the area, so we can identify people who come and go,” he said.
Pluit is one of the four subdistricts in Penjaringan, North Jakarta, badly hit by floods since Friday evening. As many as 102 out of 267 subdistricts in Jakarta were affected by the floods on Saturday, with the number continuing to decline the following day, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).
Of the total 270,000 Pluit residents, more than 7,000 have evacuated to 15 shelters.
The BNPB said the flood in Pluit occurred as the Pluit Dam could not hold the water it had received from the Cideng River, in addition to damaged pumps in the river itself.
“The Cideng River received a bigger water flow due to the collapsed section of the West Flood Canal, and the pumps didn’t work well either,” BNPB spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said. “The flood then worsened as the sea level also rose.”
Sutopo said that although the floods in some areas had started to recede, he asked people living in North Jakarta to keep alert as the sea level might be high, with the peak estimated to occur next Thursday and Saturday. The tides could trigger floods in some areas in North Jakarta.
Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has ordered officials to prepare for possible high tides, just as the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has predicted, while ensuring the safety of those affected by the floods.
“I want all mayors and district heads to ensure all basic needs for flood victims at all shelters are sufficient,” he said at City Hall.
Flooding in North Jakarta has also inundated the Muara Karang power plant.
State power company PT PLN spokesman Bambang Dwijayanto said the inundation would result in temporary blackouts in several parts of the city on Monday, as the power plant supplies electricity to substations in Budi Kemuliaan and Kebon Sirih, both in Central Jakarta.
In some areas, floods have started to recede, but the BNPB recorded a significant increase in the total number of evacuees, from around 18,000 to 40,425 people throughout the capital as of Sunday.
The death toll in Greater Jakarta also increased to 27 as of Sunday.
Sunday also saw repair work almost completed on the collapsed section of the West Flood Canal near Jl. Latuharhary in Central Jakarta.
The canal’s section, which collapsed on Thursday, had cut off the rail track between Manggarai station in South Jakarta and Sudirman station in Central Jakarta.
“If all heavy machines are moved from the line on Sunday, we can start the trial of the track and resume services on Monday,” state railway operator PT KAI spokesman Mateta Rizalulhaq said.
All Transjakarta corridors resumed operations on Sunday although some buses could not reach the last stop as lanes were still flooded. The government held a meeting on Sunday to further discuss plans to prevent more flooding, including the opening of a new waterway that could channel the Ciliwung River into the East Flood Canal.