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Jakarta still hot, heat wave continues to grip Java JAKARTA - People should prepare for an extreme heat wave to hit Java over the next two weeks as we enter the transition of the dry season and the wet season, an official said on Wednesday. "The intense heat over the past few days was caused by a dynamic air mass moving toward the southern part of the globe," Meteorology and Geophysics Agency (BMG) chief Sri Diharto told The Jakarta Post.

"A lot of people say the weather is so hot that you cannot stand in an open field for too long or you'll get dizzy," he said, adding that the highest temperature recorded in Jakarta was 37 degrees Celsius. Intense heat is defined as being between 35 degrees and 37 degrees Celsius. "The heat is also probably caused by the ongoing 3B tropical storm north of the equator, such as in the Philippines," Sri said. Meanwhile, south of the equator, cloud cover is thin and conditions are bright and sunny, except for eastern Indonesia, he said.

The agency predicted that rain would fall in the next one or two weeks inJakarta, West Java and the southern part of Central and East Java. Rain will fall heavier in several areas since monsoons are normal between December and January. "Heat usually intensifies during the transition period of the dry and wet season. But this year was a bit different as there were signs of prolonged heat in October and early November, even though the wet season was supposed to start at the end of September," Sri said. Almost everyone in the capital is complaining about the severe heat. "Every night I have trouble sleeping because of the heat. It is also hot during the daytime and I get a sore throat. Even if I am in an air-conditioned car, once I go outside my head feels like it is being stung by the heat," Minister of Settlement and Regional Infrastructure Erna Witoelar told the Post. She said that she worried whenever the rain fell. "I kept thinking where the next catastrophe (floods and landslides) was happening. Oh God, it's terrible," she said.

People on the street, including vendors, were also suffering from the intense sunlight. "It's quite difficult because I'm fasting. So most of the time I sleep under a tree," Kardi, a fruit seller in South Jakarta, said. Thirty-year-old Eko, who sells bottled drinks from a two-wheeled cart said that the heat had stopped him from fasting. "Many of my friends who also sell drinks on the street have broken their fast today. It's so hot," Eko told the Post at Palmerah market on Jl. Palmerah Barat, West Jakarta. "I'd rather stay here than push my cart around." Eko said he noticed that the unusual heat began shortly after the Ramadhan fasting month started. "During the other months, the hotter it was, the more people would buy mydrinks. But it's Ramadhan now," Eko said. A. Mahfud, a Prestasi taxi driver, said his passengers were complaining that his air conditioner was not working. "My air conditioner is fine, but it's the heat that is making the passengers feel so hot," Mahfud said.

BMG said the wet season, which started this month, would continue until a drought begins in March. Prolonged heat can also lead to sudden downpours during the wet season, such as the torrential rains which caused extensive flooding in Jakarta back in 1996, Sri Diharto said. A mild El Nio, however, may resume next year, he warned. "But I don't think it will affect the country as much as it has in past years." El Nino, a freak weather phenomenon which caused a severe drought across Indonesia and the region in 1997, led to widespread harvest failures and extensive forest fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan.



Posted in Weather @ 08 December 2000 00:01 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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