More than 62,000 evacuated from Jakarta floods as death toll rises to 21

Source:Reuters Published: 2020/1/2 19:28:40

Tens of thousands of people were evacuated in Indonesia's capital Jakarta on Thursday after flash floods and landslides in the area killed up to 21 people, with more heavy rain forecast, authorities said.

A car runs in the floods in Jakarta, Indonesia, Jan. 1, 2020. Photo:Xinhua

The flooding, among the deadliest in years, caused chaos in parts of Southeast Asia's biggest city with train lines blocked and power outages in some areas. Swathes of Jakarta and nearby towns were inundated after heavy rain fell on Tuesday and into the early hours of New Year's Day.

Social affairs ministry spokesman said in a message to Reuters that the death toll had now reached 21, while the disaster mitigation agency said it was 19.

As of Thursday, over 62,000 people were evacuated in Jakarta alone, disaster mitigation agency spokesman Agus Wibowo said, twice as many as a day earlier.

Thousands of livestock were reported missing and thousands of houses damaged in neighboring province of Banten, media reported.

Indonesia's President Joko Widodo told reporters on Thursday that evacuation and safety procedures should be prioritized, and called for more coordination between city administrations and the central government.

On his Twitter page, Widodo blamed delays in flood control infrastructure projects for the flooding. He said some projects have been delayed since 2017 due to land acquisition problems.

Some of the victims had drowned, while others were killed in landslides. Four were electrocuted, while three died of hypothermia.

Citing the geophysics agency, Indonesia's Cabinet Secretary said in a statement that extreme weather may continue across Indonesia until Tuesday and warned people to remain on alert for further flooding or landslides.

Dwikorita Karnawati, head of the geophysics agency, told reporters separately that heavy rainfall may continue until mid February.

Television footage on Thursday showed rescuers in the nearby city of Tangerang evacuating residents.


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