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Flooding kills two in Jakarta

More than 10,000 head to emergency shelters across city

Flooding kills two in Jakarta
Flooding has cut off large sections of Jakarta (photo by Ryan Dagur)
Ryan Dagur, Jakarta

January 16, 2013

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Floods in Jakarta have killed two and forced more than 10,000 people into emergency shelters with water levels reaching three meters in some areas of the city on Wednesday.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) reported that a 13-year-old drowned on Tuesday in western Jakarta after a river burst its banks and on the same day a 79-year-old woman died from cold in a relief shelter in the east of the capital.

BPBD spokesman Bambang Suryaputra said more than 60,700 people have been affected by the flooding with 10,800 “taking refuge in shelters in various areas” across Jakarta, according to

The flooding worsened on Wednesday when the Ciliwung River burst its banks early in the morning causing water to pour into slum areas in the south and east of the city.

Erwin Susilo, who lives just 20 meters from the river, said the disaster was the worst in years, surpassing flooding that hit six years ago.

“The water inundated my room when I left it,” said Yuni, an 80-year-old beggar who fled her house by the river for a shelter in south Jakarta. “But now the water level has reached the roof.”

She is one of thousands of people whom the government has previously asked to move amid regular flooding in these slums in recent years.

Reports said the government has promised food for those affected, but at the moment people are relying on private donations from residents.

Governor Joko Widodo visited a number of flood victims yesterday evening as his administration began to place water pumps in key areas ready to evacuate water.

“It’s not a solution to what is a long-term issue,” he said.

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