KEY POINTS

  • 66 people die as floods and landslides occur in Jakarta
  • Several thousand stranded as floodwaters fill streets till chest level
  • Authorities reportedly spraying disinfectants to check water-borne diseases

The floods and landslides in Indonesia’s capital city of Jakarta have killed 66 people and forced the displacement of several thousand people. The downpour had not stopped since New Year’s Eve.

The continuous floods and landslides in the area had forced the displacement of around 173,000 people in Indonesia’s capital city. Local media reported that the government was setting camps in large buildings like malls, schools, hospitals, etc to house the displaced.

Weather authorities said the area might continue to receive rainfall which may cause further distress to people. The floodwater from the first rain has barely receded in Jakarta on Sunday when it was warned of a second wave of expected thunderstorms in the coming days.

The government and associated agencies started efforts to contain the effects of the floods in terms of water and virus borne diseases. Indonesian National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman, Agus Wibowo, said in a press release that the authorities, along with Red Cross, were spraying disinfectants across the city to stop the spread of diseases.

The streets of Jakarta were reportedly filled with water that was chest-high and people were seen using rafts and boats to get around. It was also reported that more than 35,000 people were living in temporary shelters.

The Meteorological Department measured rainfall of around 15 inches — the highest in the country in over 20 years. Weather and climate experts had warned about such severe consequences of the increased rate of global warming. Jakarta is considered to be one of the most affected places in terms of rising sea levels as the city’s base is a swamp that sinks faster every passing year.

Experts claimed that the increased population in Jakarta had deemed it unsustainable over the long run as the place may sink due to various factors. The Indonesian government had decided to tackle several of the issues by changing the capital to the island city of Borneo, but the project will take almost 10 years to execute and has a hefty price tag of over $30 billion.