Indonesia’s capital hit by serious flooding for second time this year

More than 80 spots of flooding were reported in Jakarta, with more than 300 electrical substations in the flooded areas were shut down temporarily for safety.
More than 80 spots of flooding were reported in Jakarta, with more than 300 electrical substations in the flooded areas were shut down temporarily for safety.PHOTOS: SCREENGRAB FROM TIWTTER

JAKARTA (REUTERS, BLOOMBERG) - Torrential rain brought floods to Indonesia’s capital on Tuesday (Feb 25), paralysing large parts of the city as rescue workers used boats to navigate streets turned into murky, brown waterways to get people to safety.

Indonesia’s weather agency linked the rains to tropical cyclones that brought bad weather to southern parts of the archipelago. It also warned of high waves in the seas south of Java island.

Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan said more than 200 neighbourhoods were affected by the floods.

“We are concentrating on mitigation. We have prepared all resources to be deployed,” he told reporters, adding that evacuation posts had been set up with health facilities.

Low-lying Jakarta and surrounding areas are home to more than 30 million people and extremely vulnerable to flooding.

At the beginning of the year, the city was hit by some of the heaviest rain since records began, causing floods that killed more than 60 people and displaced about 175,000.

A spokesman for the Disaster Mitigation Agency said it was too early to assess the number of displaced or the scale of the damage in Tuesday’s floods. The army and police would help to rescue people, said the spokesman, Agus Wibowo.

Jakarta’s Search and Rescue Agency said on Twitter its teams were helping people in the west and east of the city.

It posted videos showing women and children being ferried on a rubber boat and rescuers steering a past a half-submerged minivan.

Police warned of road closures and disruption to trains.

State electricity utility Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) said power was shut off to more than 1,600 substations to ensure safety.

More than 80 spots of flooding were reported in Jakarta and the satellite cities of Bekasi and Tangerang by Tuesday morning, with the water level in the Ciliwung river that runs through the capital steadily rising, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency.

Heavy rainfall may continue to lash the greater Jakarta area under the influence of tropical cyclone Esther in the Gulf of Carpentaria and Ferdinand in the Indian Ocean, the Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysics Agency said on Twitter.