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

A woman affected by a landslide, at a temporary shelter in Bogor, West Java province, Indonesia, on Sunday.
A woman affected by a landslide, at a temporary shelter in Bogor, West Java province, Indonesia, on Sunday.PHOTO: REUTERS

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 its disaster response team was deployed to Indonesia yesterday.

"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," the organisation's 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 massive flooding in and around the Indonesian capital, which has killed at least 60 people as of Sunday and affected hundreds of thousands following torrential downpours that started on Dec 31.

Heavy rain continued into the early hours of New Year's Day, flooding parts of Jakarta and nearby towns.

It was "one of the most extreme rainfall" events since records began in 1866, said Indonesia's Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysical Agency (BMKG). It said climate change had increased the risk of extreme weather.

Mercy Relief said yesterday that it has launched a fund-raising campaign for flood victims that will run until Feb 6.

The public can donate online on its website or on its Giving.sg page titled Jakarta Flood Relief 2020.

People can also make cash donations at Mercy Relief's Lorong 1 Toa Payoh office, or mail in a cheque. The agency is also accepting bank transfer donations to its DBS Bank current account.

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

BMKG warned last Friday that heavy rainfall could last until the middle of next month, with a peak expected from Jan 11 to 15.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 08, 2020, with the headline 'Mercy Relief sends team, starts fund-raiser to help Jakarta flood victims'. Print Edition | Subscribe