Jakarta declares emergency as water levels rise
Five dead and thousands evacuated amid capital's worst flooding in five years
JAKARTA - Indonesia has declared a state of emergency in waterlogged Jakarta after days of rain forced thousands to be evacuated, left five dead and affected nearly 100,000 others in the capital city's worst flooding since 2007.
Weather officials yesterday warned that the worst was not over, with more heavy rain expected in the next few days. Army special forces and firemen have been deployed to rescue the stranded.
Overnight torrential rains caused flash floods yesterday, forcing many people to abandon their homes and rescuers in lorries or dinghies to go to the aid of people stranded in offices or by the road.
Jakarta's busy city centre was not spared. Aerial footage showed the iconic fountain at the Hotel Kempinski traffic circle in the heart of the city surrounded by a sea of muddy brown water.
More than 100mm of rain that fell overnight nearly paralysed the capital as the city's poor drainage system could not cope with the deluge.
Early morning traffic was brought to a standstill, preventing thousands of people from getting to work. By late morning, even train and bus services were halted.