World

Jakarta floods: ‘Not ordinary rain’, say officials

At least 21 people have died in flooding in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, after the city had its most intense rainfall for at least 24 years.

The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) measured 377mm (14.8 inches) of rainfall in a day at an airport in East Jakarta.

That’s the most rain in a single day since at least 1996, when records supplied by the agency began.

“The rain falling on New Year’s Eve… is not ordinary rain,” said the agency.

The agency said the intensity of the rain was due to several factors, including the monsoon season, as well as a high amount of water vapour in the air.

At least 62,000 people have been evacuated out of the city. Some people spent the night on the roofs of their buildings while awaiting rescue.

A baby is evacuated by a rescue team in Tangerang, near Jakarta, on 1 January

The heavy rainfall is expected to continue until the weekend.

Elsewhere in East Jakarta, 335mm was recorded, while in Bekasi, further east, 259mm fell.

Rainfall above 150mm per day is considered extreme by the agency.

The intense rain began on New Year’s Eve and continued through the night, leading to parts of the city being submerged and landslides on the outskirts.

The victims ranged in age from eight to 82. Some died of hypothermia, while others drowned or were killed by landslides.

One 16-year-old boy was electrocuted by a power line.

The electricity has been switched off in many districts of Jakarta as a precaution, and some railway lines are also shut.

On Twitter, President Joko Widodo blamed delays in flood control infrastructure projects for the severity of the damage.

Related Articles

Close