New Year’s Eve Floods Strike Indonesia
As of January 4th, 60 people were confirmed dead and thousands more have been forced to evacuate after severe flooding struck Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital city on Wednesday night.
Jakarta is home to 10 million people, 30 million including its greater metropolitan area and it is highly prone to earthquakes and floods.
Among the dead was a 16-year-old high school student who was electrocuted. He was holding onto a lamppost while awaiting rescue.
Rainfall in the area has surpassed triple the average amount recorded resulting in deadly flooding in Jakarta and West Java. The severe flooding was caused by the overflow of the Ciliwung and Cisadane rivers.
Television footage and photos released by Indonesia's disaster mitigation agency, BNPB, show cars floating in muddy waters while soldiers and rescuers in rubber boats struggle to evacuate children and elderly awaiting rescue atop the roofs of their own homes.
Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan told reporters after conducting an aerial survey over the flooded city that as much as 14.5 inches of rainfall was recorded in Jakarta and West Java on New Year's eve alone.
More than 22,000 people (updated) were transferred to temporary shelters after floodwater depths reached nearly ten feet in some areas.
According to National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman, Agus Wibowo, monsoons and flooded riverbanks submerged at least 90 neighborhoods and triggered a landslide in Kota Depok, a city outside of Jakarta.
Baswedan said about 120,000 rescuers had been deployed to evacuate those affected and install mobile water pumps in an attempt to prevent further flooding as continued downpour is expected.
As a result of the extreme weather, Jakarta's domestic airport closed, marooning nearly 20,000 passengers.
He said the city administration is working to complete projects on the two rivers, including a dam and a sluice, to prevent further flooding.
Authorities warn the worst of the flooding may not be over until April when the rainy season ends.
Video: Floods in Indonesia 2020
You Can Help Those Affected by Floods in Indonesia