Indonesian rescuers launched a desperate search on Friday for those missing after flash floods and landslides caused by torrential rains killed at least 43 people throughout the Jakarta area as health authorities rushed to avert outbreaks of disease. About a dozen people were still unaccounted for having hit the city and leaving swathes of the megalopolis, home to some 30 million residents, under water and with thousands of homeless people after heavy rains that began on New Year’s Eve.
The agency said that in Greater Jakarta and neighboring Lebak regency in the south of Java Island, 43 people were confirmed dead. Waters had declined in many areas and power was being restored, which had been shut down in many districts.
The government said Friday, to deter imminent rains from hitting the area, it would start seeding clouds to the west of the capital-inducing rain using chemicals sprayed from planes.
‘Everything is gone’ -Using inflatable boats to evacuate residents trapped in their homes, including kids and seniors, rescuers said on Friday they were targeting the city’s hardest-hit areas.Shelters packed with many migrants, including children, as food and drinking water ran low lying on thin mats.
Residents began the slow process of cleaning up their deluged homes in hard-hit Lebak outside of Jakarta. “I couldn’t hold everything… I left anything because I was scared that the water was getting high.”-‘ Phenomenally bad’-Around Jakarta, a family-including a four-and nine-year-old-died of accidental gas poisoning from a portable power generator, while an eight-year-old boy was also killed in a landslide and an 82-year-old pensioner was also among the victims.
During the rainy season, which began in late November, Jakarta is regularly hit by flooding. The tragedy of this week marked the worst flooding in Jakarta since 2013, when dozens of people were killed after monsoon rains inundated the area.
Jakarta’s myriad problems with transportation, including poor drainage and widespread overdevelopment, made the situation worse, he said.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo has announced a plan to move the capital of the country to Borneo Island to take pressure off Jakarta, which is suffering from some of the worst traffic jams in the world and is rapidly sinking as a result of excessive groundwater extraction.