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Jakarta Post

Jakarta floods force hundreds to abandon houses

  • Bambang Nurbianto

    The Jakarta Post

  /   Mon, March 21, 2016   /  09:36 pm
Jakarta floods force hundreds to abandon houses Cawang residents in South Jakarta use a mattress to cross an inundated area on Tuesday as the water level reached two meters following the overflow of rainwater from the Ciliwung River, the longest river in the capital city. ( Belarminus)

Rainwater causing overflow at the Ciliwung, the longer river in the capital, early on Tuesday has led to flooding in at least five districts of East and South Jakarta, forcing hundreds of residents to abandon their inundated houses and move to more secure ground.

This flooding occurred after the Katulampa sluice gate in Bogor announced the maximum Alert 1 level of 250 centimeters on Monday night, indicating that most of the rainwater comes from upstream areas.

The Jakarta Disaster Management Agency reported that based on monitoring on Tuesday morning, the water level in Jakarta had reached up to 2 meters, affecting 8,815 people in 2,507 households.

Agency’s spokesman Bambang Suryaputra said the worst flooding – at two meters -- had occurred in the Cawang subdistrict of South Jakarta.

Flooding also affected the South Jakarta districts of Tebet, Pasar Minggu and Pancosan. Meanwhile, in East Jakarta, flooding occurred in Jatinegara and Kramatjati districts, with the subdistricts of Kampung Melayu and Bidara Cina being worst hit.

Jakarta city-owned news portal reported that people of some 425 households in Rawajati subdistrict had fled their inundated houses.  “The water reaches two meters in the worst-affected area,” said Rawajati subdistrict head Adi Krisna.

He said fire department officers equipped with rubber boats were on standby to evacuate residents seeking to leave their inundated houses, while the City’s Social Agency was ready assist flood victims with clothes and foods.

Meanwhile, East Jakarta Mayor Bambang Musyawardana said his office had anticipated the possible flooding in the area soon after Katulampa flood control announced Alert 1.

“So far, we have not seen residents flee their houses. But we expect the water level to continue to rise. Therefore, we are preparing personnel to anticipate a worsening [situation],” the mayor said, adding that all working units had taken preparations to help flood victims by establishing public kitchens, health posts and readying rubber boats.

“We have instructed district and subdistrict heads to keep monitoring their respective territories and the water level at the Ciliwung River so that they could evacuate residents if necessary,” Bambang Musyawardana said.  

The residential area of Kampung Pulo in Kampung Melayu, East Jakarta, was also inundated on Tuesday.  “The water has started to enter the houses. But there are no residents who have left their houses,” said Andika, a local resident.

Many Kampung Pulo residents were relocated recently to low-cost apartments as the city administration bulldozed their houses to develop flood mitigation infrastructure.

Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama said he was not worried by the water level in Katulampa. “When the rain falls, Katulampa is always on Alert 1. Just relax. The most important thing is that Manggarai sluice gate remains open,” he added.

The opening of Manggarai sluice gate would help rainwater spread more evenly to all parts of the city, he added. (bbn)

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