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Jakarta flood: 21 dead, thousands caught in Indonesia's capital

Christian Fernsby |
Severe flooding in Indonesia’s capital Jakarta has killed at least 21 people, displaced tens of thousands and forced an airport to close, the country’s disaster management agency said today.

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Topics: JAKARTA    FLOOD    INDONESIA   

Monsoon rains and rising rivers submerged at least 169 neighborhoods and caused landslides in the Bogor and Depok districts on Jakarta’s outskirts, National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Agus Wibowo said.

Social affairs ministry spokesman Joko Hariyanto said the death toll had reached 21.

Video and photos released by the agency showed cars floating in muddy waters while soldiers and rescuers in rubber boats helped children and elders forced onto the roofs of flooded homes.

The floods inundated thousands of homes and buildings in poor and wealthy districts alike, have forced authorities to cut off electricity and water and paralyzed transport networks, Wibowo said.

More than 31,000 people were in temporary shelters after floodwaters reached up to 2.5 meters (8 feet) in places, Wibowo said.

As much as 37 centimeters of rainfall was recorded in Jakarta and West Java’s hilly areas on New Year’s Eve, causing the Ciliwung and Cisadane rivers to overflow, Jakarta Gov. Anies Baswedan told reporters after conducting an aerial survey over the flooded city.

He said 120,000 rescuers were helping people evacuate and installing mobile water pumps as more downpours were forecast. He vowed his city administration would complete flood-mitigation projects on the two rivers.