Major floods force thousands in Jakarta from their homes

Featured - January 17th, 2013

Severe flooding following days of heavy downpour forced thousands of people in the Indonesian capital to flee their homes, with two people swept away in the floods.

Nearly 10,000 people have been evacuated to temporary shelters in Jakarta while disaster management authorities are preparing for the possible evacuation of up to 350,000 people as rising waters submerged the city. A child was among the two victims killed in the flood, AFP reports.

“Days of heavy downpour caused the rivers to overflow and triggered floods up to three meters (10 feet),” National Disaster Management Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told AFP, adding that 30% of the city is already under flood water.

Many in the capital live beside rivers that periodically overflow because of their low capacity to contain the monsoon rain.

Indonesia has been battered by torrential rains during its wet season, which lasts around half the year, triggering deadly floods and landslides. In 2007, major floods displaced 350,00 people and caused nearly $500 million of damage in Jakarta alone.