Jakata floods: what the newspapers are saying

Climate change blamed for Jakarta floods

February 7, 2007 – 8:19PM

Climate change has contributed to extreme weather conditions that triggered the worst flooding in the Indonesian capital in years, a deputy environment minister said.

The floods that have submerged huge areas in Jakarta and its surroundings since last week have killed 50 people and displaced hundreds of thousands.

"It’s a natural phenomenon affected by climate change. It’s been made worse by negligent behaviour," said Masnellyarty Hilman, a deputy environment minister in charge of drafting a national strategy to deal with climate change.

She said warmer seas had heated up monsoon winds that carry moisture from the ocean to the land, leading to extra heavy rain.

Full story at The Sydney Morning Herald 

Jakarta floods

Trucks belonging to a state-owned oil and gas company line up to fill their tanks at a flooded fuel terminal in Jakarta February 7, 2007. A lull in the recent torrential rains meant the waters had receded in some parts of Jakarta, but water levels remained high in some areas however, and some new flooding was also reported.

Source: Reuters Alert  

 

Over 50 people killed in Jakarta floods

Xinhua

Jakarta, February 7, 2007

The massive floods that hit the Indonesian capital and its surrounding areas have claimed more than 50 lives and displaced some 263,000 residents in the last six days, a health ministry official said on Wednesday.

Days of lashing rain have caused widespread flooding, the worst in five years, and put about 75 per cent of Jakarta under water.

Most of the deaths have occurred in east Jakarta, where 16 people drowned to death or were killed in flood-related accidents, including electrocutions, said Rustam Pakaya, head of the crisis management centre.

Thousands of residents have taken refuge along railroads, under flyovers and even in cemeteries in west and north Jakarta to seek safety.

Full story at Hindustan Times 

Jakarta cries a river

By Bill Guerin

JAKARTA – Acts of God or acts of Satan? Jakarta Governor Sutiyoso’s storm troopers, the city’s so-called public-order officials who implement his war plan against the weak and the poor, have been forced to run for shelter this week from rainstorms that have flooded the city.

At least 72 hours of torrential rains and citywide floods have given the storm troopers a break from destroying kiosks and 30-year-old "temporary" plywood houses, arresting ladies (and gentlemen) of the night, and crushing becaks (pedicabs) with an excavator, all justified by the governor’s crusade to "clean up" his city. The same officials are now busy organizing "relief" for the estimated 230,000 people badly affected by the worst of an annual series of floods.

Governor Sutiyoso controls a city that swims in filth every year during the wet season, from October to February. Forty percent of Jakarta, or 24,000 square meters, is on low land, and 78 areas are prone to flooding. This time around, the floods have inundated not only the many slum areas but also many swanky middle-class residential complexes.

The figures show the scale of this disaster. Using the simple parameter of flooded house equals victim, North Jakarta has reported 94,000 victims, West Jakarta 84,000, and East Jakarta 37,000. The elite areas of South Jakarta and Central Jakarta have so far reported only 17,867 and 1,591 victims, respectively. So far, since the onset on the evening of January 23, the floods have claimed at least 15 lives. At least 233,000 Jakartans are directly affected and millions more indirectly affected by the ensuing traffic jams, while 55,000 flood victims currently need immediate relief aid.

Full story at Online Asia Times

Jakarta flood toll: 50 dead and 200,000 homeless 

Floods that have crippled much of Indonesia’s capital and killed at least 50 people worsened on 4 February, inundating scores of districts and leaving over 200,000 people homeless, reported The Advertiser (5/2/2007, p.25).

Jakarta river banks burst: Overnight rains caused more rivers to burst their banks across Jakarta, sending muddy water up to 3m deep into more residential and commercial areas in the city of 12 million people.

Jakarta on highest alert: "Jakarta is now on the highest alert level," said Sihar Simanjuntak, an official monitoring water levels at key rivers. Two days of incessant rain over Jakarta and hills to its south triggered the city’s worst floods in recent memory on Friday.

Disease danger as power cut, water supplies shut down: Now there are fears the floods will result in a disease epidemic. The waters have so far inundated more than 20,000 homes, schools and hospitals, forcing authorities to cut off electricity and water supplies.

Fifty  dead; 200,000 homeless: Dr Rustam Pakaya, from the health ministry’s crisis centre, said 50 people in Jakarta and surrounding towns had died by 4 February evening. About 200,000 had been made homeless.

The Advertiser, 5/2/2007, p.25

Source: Erisk Net 

 

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