Indonesian capital braces for floods as sluice gates on major dam opened

Indonesian authorities were forced to release water from a reservoir upstream in the city of Bogor as water levels prompted the highest alert.
Indonesian authorities were forced to release water from a reservoir upstream in the city of Bogor as water levels prompted the highest alert.PHOTO: BNPB
Indonesia's national disaster management agency said at least four landslides had left an unknown number of people missing.
Indonesia's national disaster management agency said at least four landslides had left an unknown number of people missing.PHOTO: BNPB
Water caused by heavy rainfall flows from the Katulampa sluice gate in Bogor, Indonesia, on Feb 5, 2018.
Water caused by heavy rainfall flows from the Katulampa sluice gate in Bogor, Indonesia, on Feb 5, 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS

JAKARTA - Torrential rain has caused floods and landslides in satellite cities around the Indonesian capital, with authorities warning that floods could hit Jakarta later on Monday (Feb 5) after being forced to open sluice gates on a major upstream reservoir.

Dramatic TV footage showed fast-running rivers of muddy water gushing down roads, bringing down trees and even some villas in the hilly areas around Jakarta, Reuters reported.

Authorities were forced to release water from a reservoir upstream in the city of Bogor as water levels prompted the highest alert.

The national disaster management agency said at least four landslides had left an unknown number of people missing.

"Some residents have been evacuated and the potential for rain in the greater Jakarta area remains high," agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a statement.

He added that police and military personnel were working with volunteers to deal with the impact of the floods, Reuters said.

In a separate incident, a 20m stretch of an underpass retaining wall near Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta airport collapsed on Monday, burying at least one car with two female passengers, according to police. The women were alive and communicating with rescuers, tvOne reported.

It was not yet clear if there were other vehicles buried.

Video footage from the scene shows a car crushed under concrete rubble and earth with rescuers trying to reach the victims.

Above the underpass is the airport's new railway link. Service has been temporarily stopped.

Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan warned people on Monday that flood waters could reach the capital within hours.

"I urge residents near the river...to be alert," Baswedan told reporters.

City authorities have in the last few years sought to improve low-lying Jakarta's vulnerability to flooding during the rainy season.

More than 50 people died in one of the capital's deadliest floods in 2007 and five years ago much of the centre of the city was innundated after canals overflowed. -- Additional reporting by Wahyudi Soeriaatmadja