The Jakarta Post
A public cemetery in Semper, North Jakarta, was inundated by as much as 50 centimeters of water following drenching rains that hit Jakarta in the past few days.
Some of the burial plots on the site are no longer visible, preventing families from going on ziarah (grave visits) to the deceased, kompas.com reported on Wednesday.
Siti Normah and Ana, residents of Kalibaru in Cilincing, North Jakarta, canceled their plan to visit the graves of their parents at the cemetery after finding their way blocked by water.
“We cancelled our ziarah plan. We’ll just send our prayers from afar. We have tried to pass through, but the inundation reached as high as our knees,” Ana said, adding that they feared encountering snakes or other dangerous animals.
Cemetery caretaker Syaiful said that flooding was common in the area during the rainy season and would only stop when the dry season began. “It has been a week now. Every year during the rainy season, it’s always been like this,” he said.
Syafdarifal of the North Jakarta’s Forestry, Park and Cemetery Agency said that the situation occurred because the cemetery was below sea level, adding that any effort to lower the water had not worked because of the intensity of the rain.
“We will add more soil to raise the gravestones,” he said, when asked if there were any long term solutions to the problem. (fac)