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Jakarta Post

From culverts to water pumps: What cities can learn from Surabaya in mitigating floods

  • Wahyoe Boediwardhana

    The Jakarta Post

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Surabaya   /   Fri, January 24, 2020   /  01:41 pm
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Surabaya Mayor Tri Rismaharini (center) visits a pump house and a dam in Sumberejo subdistrict in Surabaya, East Java, on Nov. 2, 2019 before rain season begins.(Kompas.com/Ghinan Salman)

Heavy rain fell in Surabaya on Jan. 15, causing floods across East Java's provincial capital the next day. But unlike in Jakarta where it took days for the water to subside, Surabaya's floods receded within hours. This was far better than in 2010-2011, when almost 50 percent of the city was badly affected by the floods. Just like Jakarta, Surabaya, a port city overwhelmed with urban development and close to open waters, also used to struggle with floods. Suparno, 54, who lives near the Darmo Park Vida market compound on Jl. Sungkono, one of the flood-prone areas in the city, recalled that just an hour of heavy rain back then was enough to submerge his motorcycle, which he parked in the market compound. “I do not see this happening anymore in Vida. It’s safe,” he said. The city administration has improved flood mitigation in the past...