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Jakarta Post

Jokowi, Puan push for immediate evacuation as flood victims mark 2020 on rooftops

  • Karina M. Tehusijarana
    Karina M. Tehusijarana

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, January 2, 2020   /   01:44 pm
Jokowi, Puan push for immediate evacuation as flood victims mark 2020 on rooftops A search and rescue team uses a rubber dinghy to rescue flood victims on Jan. 1 from the Jati Bening Permai housing complex in Bekasi. (Antara/Saptono)

As the New Year's Day floods continue to cripple many areas in Greater Jakarta (Jabodetabek), President Joko “Joko” Widodo and House of Representatives Speaker Puan Maharani have pushed for the quick evacuation of those trapped by floodwaters.

“The central government, the provincial administration and the regency and municipal administrations must all work together to manage [the disaster],” Jokowi told reporters on Jan. 2 at the Jakarta Stock Exchange. 

“The most important thing is to evacuate the victims. The safety and security of the people must be prioritized. We will work on matters [related to] flood management infrastructure later, after the evacuation is finished,” he stressed.

Puan echoed Jokowi in a similar statement on Thursday, saying that evacuating victims should be the main priority.

“We have heard and received reports that many victims still have not been evacuated from their homes that are surrounded by floodwaters, especially in Tangerang, Bekasi and Bogor,” Puan said. “Evacuation teams should comb through all affected areas to prevent more people falling victim to the floods.”

There are widespread reports on social media that many people remain stuck on their rooftops in flooded areas, waiting for hours to be evacuated.

Puan stressed that relevant central and regional agencies should cooperate and avoid the blame game.

“I also urge House members on [holiday], especially those from the electoral districts of Jabodetabek, to assist the emergency response,” she said.

The latest Social Affairs Ministry data has recorded at least 19 fatalities from the city-wide flooding. (kmt)