30 000 displaced by floods in Indonesia

2014-01-19 21:07
(Adek Berry, AFP)

(Adek Berry, AFP)

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Jakarta - More than 30 000 Indonesians have fled their homes in the capital due to flooding that has left five dead, officials said on Sunday, with people using rubber dinghies and wading through waist-deep water to reach safer ground.

Many parts of Jakarta were under murky, brown water after days of torrential rain produced the city's first significant floods of the months-long rainy season.

Buildings in some parts of the sprawling capital, which has a population of more than 10 million and is regularly afflicted by floods, were half submerged, with roads impassable in many areas.

"Yesterday the water was knee deep in my house," Yulian Candra, who lives in west Jakarta, told news website Detik. "There has also been a power cut for the past two days."

The number of those forced to leave their homes jumped from less than 5 000 on Saturday to more than 30 000 on Sunday after heavy rain deluged Jakarta overnight.

People waded through the floods clutching their belongings. Others used boats to make their way to evacuation centres, which are mainly housed in mosques in the Muslim-majority country, but also in government buildings and tents erected on the roadside.

Some motorcyclists, cyclists and cars ventured out despite the weather, spraying up water as they drove along roads where the floods were not yet too high.

The flooding was widespread across Jakarta, with the highest number of displaced in the south and west of the city and floodwaters reaching up to three metres in some places.

Five people have so far been killed in the past week due to flooding, disaster agency official Tri Budiarto said, adding that those killed had either died by drowning or being electrocuted.

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