5 killed in greater Jakarta’s second floods this year; waters reach presidential palace

Motorists are seen trapped on a flooded toll road after heavy rain in West Java, Indonesia, on Feb 25, 2020.
Motorists are seen trapped on a flooded toll road after heavy rain in West Java, Indonesia, on Feb 25, 2020.PHOTO: AFP

JAKARTA – Five people were killed and three went missing following a heavy downpour in greater Jakarta on Tuesday (Feb 25), as floods paralysed large parts of the capital, cut power supply, disrupted traffic and reached the presidential palace. 

Those killed included those who were electrocuted and drowned, Dr Agus Wibowo, spokesman for Indonesian disaster management agency BNPB, said on Wednesday. 

This was the second time this year that floods occurred. Massive floods on New Year’s Day in greater Jakarta killed more than 60 people and displaced 175,000 others. 

Waters reached as high as 1m on Tuesday, displacing about 20,000 people in Jakarta and its satellite towns of Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi. 

 
 

Flood waters as high as 20cm inundated parts of the presidential palace in the early morning before the waters receded at 7am.

Tuesday’s floods also led to people in the low-income residential areas in East Jakarta staging violent street protests and vandalising a nearby, newly built shopping mall.

The residents alleged that its construction had disrupted the flow of nearby canals and rivers, causing more severe flooding in their neighbourhood. 

In several scenes of footage that has gone viral, the crowds are seen marching towards the Aeon Jakarta Garden City mall, shouting slogans. Some damage the fences at the carpark and pelt shop windows with rocks and bamboo sticks, local media reported.

Police detained 23 of the protesters over the vandalism.

In Karawang, West Java, floods on Monday displaced more than 47,000 people, inundating almost 15,000 houses, several places of worship, a school and 842ha of rice paddy fields, Dr Agus said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Karawang regency administration has declared a state of emergency over the floods as well as possible landslides and weak tornadoes.

“Floods were triggered by various factors, such as high intensity of rain, poor drainage system and garbage clogging up water canals,” Dr Agus said.

In the coming days, high intensity rain may hit the west and east of the Nusa Tenggara islands, 1,000km east of Bali, while greater Jakarta, larger parts of Java island and Sumatra island may see medium intensity rain, according to Indonesia’sMeteorological, Climatological and Geophysics Agency.