Indonesia floods: at least 23 dead

The Jakarta region suffered from heavy flooding during New Years Eve. 23 dead are reported and eight people are missing.

The floods that hit the Jakarta region caused at least 23 dead, a toll that could further increase , the disaster management agency announced on Thursday. Tens of thousands of residents have been forced to leave their homes and seek refuge in temporary shelters. A large number of houses have been damaged due to the torrential rains that hit the metropolitan area of ​​Jakarta, which has about 30 million inhabitants , during New Year's Eve.

Images taken at across the flooded area show houses and cars covered by water and mud, locals sailing on inflatable boats or inner tubes. In Bekasi, in the suburbs of Jakarta, the recession has given way to swampy streets, covered with rubbish, cars stacked on top of each other. The height of the water in this area has reached the second floor of the buildings .

Les rues sont désormais marécageuses, couvertes de détritus, de voitures empilées les unes sur les autres.
The streets are now swampy, covered in rubbish, cars stacked on top of each other the others.

Photo credit: BAGUS SARAGIH / AFP

Rescuers used inflatable boats to evacuate residents still trapped in their homes. Through the megalopolis, children took the opportunity to bathe in the waters linked to the floods. Others have brought their fishing rods. “I saw that people were fishing here, so I followed them,” said Agung Rosiadi, 28 years. “There were a lot of fish before but I don't know why they all left now,” he said.

Après les inondations déclenchées par les fortes pluies, certains se sont munis de cannes à pêche pour attraper des poissons.
After the floods triggered by the heavy rains, some people have fishing rods to catch fish.

Photo credit: Agnes ANYA / AFP

At least 21 people died in the megalopolis of Jakarta, two others were killed by the sudden rise of the waters in the region of Lebak, located in the far south of the island of Java.

Eight missing persons

“We hope that this record will not continue to climb,” Juliari Peter Batubara, the Minister of Social Affairs, told reporters on Thursday. In Lebak, the agency in charge of disaster management confirmed the deaths of two other residents. It is also investigating following reports of three more deaths.

Lebak police said they were looking for eight people still missing in this region. Tens of thousands of residents have been evacuated to temporary shelters, many homes have been damaged. The deceased were victims of drowning, hypothermia or buried during landslides . Among the victims were an 8-year-old boy killed in a landslide and a teenager from 16 years electrocuted.

“The floods hit without warning,” said Munarsih, who has only one name. His neighborhood, located in the western suburbs of Jakarta, was flooded. “The water came very quickly and went up quickly. We couldn't get our things out, including my car, “said the resident.

Dampak kerusakan lingkungan di hulu… lebak gedong dan Cipanas terkena dampak meluapnya sungai Ciberang. #banjir

— BNPB Indonesia (@BNPB_Indonesia) January 1, 2020

This disaster is the deadliest since the floods of 2013 who had killed several dozen in Jakarta. The Indonesian capital is regularly hit by floods during the rainy season in Indonesia, which started in late November. The authorities indicated that 31 000 people were evacuated, a figure that does not include the inhabitants living in cities on the outskirts of the capital.