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Jakarta Post

City focuses on evacuees, traffic and damaged roads

  • Indah Setiawati and Corry Elyda

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, January 23, 2014   /  08:34 am
City focuses on evacuees, traffic and damaged roads Bracing against floods: Motorists are trapped in congested traffic on inundated Jl. Gunung Sahari in Central Jakarta on Wednesday. Further flooding hit the city, inundating many roads and triggering traffic jams on main streets, following incessant heavy downpours on Tuesday. (JP/P.J. Leo) (JP/P.J. Leo)

Bracing against floods: Motorists are trapped in congested traffic on inundated Jl. Gunung Sahari in Central Jakarta on Wednesday. Further flooding hit the city, inundating many roads and triggering traffic jams on main streets, following incessant heavy downpours on Tuesday. (JP/P.J. Leo)

Residents continued to be evacuated, more districts became inundated and traffic on flooded streets halted following heavy incessant rain on Tuesday.

The water level in the Ciliwung River in Kampung Melayu, Jatinegara, East Jakarta rose to 6 meters, flooding eight community units (RW) and 96 neighborhood units (RT), kompas.com reported.

Jatinegara district deputy head Manson Sinaga said the flooding affected 18,973 people in the area but that the number of evacuees had only reached 7,584 people.

'€œWe have stopped evacuating people. Now, we'€™re focusing on taking care of the displaced residents,'€ Jatinegara district head Syofian said via text message on Tuesday evening.

The Jakarta Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) reported that as of Wednesday morning, 99 subdistricts in 33 districts in the capital were still flooded, while 119,397 people had been affected and 12 lives had been lost.

Floodwater also paralyzed Jl. Otista Raya, East Jakarta inundating both lanes of the street and forcing the police to redirect traffic. In Central Jakarta, streets such as Jl. Gunung Sahari and Pasar Baru were inundated by tidal floods, causing heavy congestion.

Water from Ciliwung River also quickly inundated some 500 houses on Jl. H. Kebon Baru, Tebet, South Jakarta, on Tuesday evening. The Jakarta Police deployed 30 personnel and three boats to evacuate residents.

Anton Sanusi, a resident, said that the upper part of the embankment, measuring 50 centimeters in height and 15 meters in length, collapsed against the heavy flow of the river.

'€œThe part that collapsed was built over a year ago only with bricks and cement, without steel framework,'€ he said.

Meanwhile, Jakarta Governor Joko '€œJokowi'€ Widodo denied that the embankment section was broken.

'€œIt is not broken but water overflowed,'€ he said, adding that the city'€™s Public Works Agency would immediately increase the height of the embankment after the water receded.

Flooding has displaced some 65,000 people since heavy rains started pounding the city on Jan. 13. A total of 247 shelters have been set up in city buildings, youth sports centers, hospitals, school buildings, mosques and churches. Some evacuees are living in emergency tents near flooded areas.

Jakarta Deputy Governor Basuki '€œAhok'€ Tjahaja Purnama said the city would try to center the evacuees in a number of places to better manage relief distribution and the safety of evacuees.

He said the administration was preparing at least three places '€” the Air Force base in Halim Perdanakusuma, Cibubur camp ground in East Jakarta and Ragunan camp ground in South Jakarta.

He said the Air Force had agreed to prepare tents equipped with adequate lavatories to accommodate at least 1,200 people. Meanwhile, Ragunan could accommodate 5,000 people.

'€œCibubur camp ground management is also willing to help us as long as we settle our debt of about Rp 1.7 billion [US$139,400]. It can cater to around 10,000 evacuees,'€ he said.

He added he had been informed that the haj dormitory in East Jakarta could not be used as a shelter as the space had been rented out.

'€œWe have 12 buildings that can serve thousands of people. However, they have been booked until the end of this month,'€ Dasrul L. Hakim, head of accommodation affairs said.

The BPBD will consider other possibilities over the next three days, prioritizing women and children in areas that have been severely hit, such as Kampung Melayu.

The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has forecast light to medium showers in the northern, southern and western parts of Jakarta, especially in the afternoon and evening from Jan. 23 until Jan. 26.

Rains are expected in Bogor and Depok over the next few days but are not expected to trigger floods. (nai)

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