Mercy Relief sends disaster response team, starts fund-raiser to help Jakarta flood victims

Workers collect trash during a clean-up after a flood in Jakarta on Jan 5, 2020. PHOTO: AP

SINGAPORE - Home-grown humanitarian organisation Mercy Relief has deployed a disaster response team and started a fund-raising campaign to help victims of the Jakarta floods and landslides.

Mercy Relief said on Tuesday (Jan 7) that its disaster response team was deployed to Indonesia on the same day.

"Our utmost priority is to provide emergency relief aid of hot meals, clean water and solar lights to the affected communities in Jakarta Metropolitan Area," Mercy Relief chairman Suhaimi Rafdi said. "We hope that these provisions will bring some levels of comfort during this difficult time."

He added that the response team would work closely with local partners and the authorities "to assess and address any other pressing needs and to expand our immediate relief operations into early recovery".

The agency's moves come after the massive flooding that killed at least 60 people as of Sunday and affected hundreds of thousands in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta and nearby towns.

The torrential downpour in Jakarta started on Dec 31 and continued into the early hours of New Year's Day, flooding parts of Jakarta and nearby towns.

For those in Singapore who want to help the flood victims, Mercy Relief said on Tuesday that it has launched a fund-raising campaign for victims that will run until Feb 6.

The public can donate online on the Mercy Relief website, or on its page titled Jakarta Flood Relief 2020.

People can also post a cheque to or donate cash at Mercy Relief's Lorong 1 Toa Payoh office.

The agency is also accepting bank transfer donations to its DBS Bank current account.

More information can be found on the Mercy Relief website.

Last Friday, Indonesia's Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysical Agency (BMKG) called the flooding disaster "one of the most extreme rainfall" events since records began in 1866, adding that climate change had increased the risk of extreme weather.

It warned that heavy rainfall could last until mid-February, with a peak expected from Jan 11 to 15.

Television footage has shown floodwaters inundating parts of Jakarta, and mud-covered cars, some piled on top of one another.

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