Fresh floods hit Jakarta

New deluge renews concerns over disease outbreaks and shortage of supplies.

    The floods have caused a shortage
    of food and fresh water [EPA]
    The floods cut off water supplies and communications, leaving hundreds of thousands without electricity.
     
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    Government ministers have acknowledged that bad drainage, building shopping malls in water catchment areas and cutting down trees in the hills south of the city all contributed to the problem.
     
    I Gede Nyoman Soewandi, the head of water resources development at the Public Works Agency, said: "Only 2.9 per cent of the city's total area is utilised for the drainage system, lower than the minimum of 8 per cent.
     
    "However, even if drainage areas comprised 8 per cent of the city's 60,000 hectares, during major rainstorms the sheer volume of water could still cause the drainage system to back up," he was quoted as saying in The Jakarta Post.
     
    Endang Trisilowati, a resident, said: "Every year the government promises there will be no more floods, but just look around you. I have to buy new a sofa, new beds, everything. It is a disgrace."
     

    Oil tankers wait to fill up at a flooded
    fuel terminal in Jakarta [Reuters]

    As residents washed walls and hung curtains out to dry, backhoes were deployed to shift piles of soggy mattresses, chairs and a thick layer of sludge from highways that had been under water since February 1 when the floods first struck.
     
    Continuous rain over several days last week had left 70 per cent of the city under water.
     
    Health officials said there have been at least 50 deaths from either drowning or electrocution since the rains started.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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