Jakarta floods recede; death toll at 11

JAKARTA - Waters were receding Friday in some parts of Jakarta after widespread floods brought the Indonesian capital to a virtual standstill, authorities said.

  • Published: 18/01/2013 at 03:47 PM
  • Newspaper section: breakingnews

At least 11 people have been killed as a result of flooding that had inundated Jakarta in the past three days while more than 15,000 had sought refuge in temporary shelters, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the National Disaster Management Agency.

"Our focus is now to rescue more people and prevent more deaths," Nugroho said.

Rescuers were looking for two people thought to have been trapped after a torrent of floodwater rushed into an office block in central Jakarta, filling its two-storey basement, said Jakarta police spokesman Rikwanto, who like many Indonesians uses one name.

Floodwater inundated the central business district to a depth of up to one metre Thursday after a river embankment broke. Work was under way to repair the dyke.

Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo declared a state of emergency.

Police and military personnel were deployed to evacuate people trapped in the flooded houses, using amphibious vehicles and rubber boats.

The disaster management agency said more than 114,000 people's homes were flooded.

Bus and train services resumed partially, but operations were limited to areas not affected by flooding.

Jakarta - 40 per cent of which lies below sea level - is prone to flooding in the wet season, which is made worse by clogged rivers, sewers and storm drains and poor city planning.

Severe flooding in 2007 killed 57 people and forced more than 420,000 to leave their homes in the capital. Officials put the total damage at nearly 695 million US dollars.

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