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More rain adds to misery in Indonesia's capital JAKARTA - Overnight downpours sent storm waters coursing back into some low-lying areas Tuesday, as authorities warned of the threat of diseases and anger mounted at the government's response to the disaster that has killed at least 44 people in the capital.

Authorities said flooding had receded in some areas, allowing more than 115,000 people to return home. However, about 220,000 people remained in temporary shelters, and electricity and water supplies have been cut to much of the city of 12 million people and its surrounding towns.

Meanwhile, rains triggered a landslide in a village some 160 kilometres west of the capital that killed six people, including a young boy, said Banten Police Chief Brig. Gen. Timur Pradopo. In the capital, medical officials said there were shortages of baby food, clean water and medicine with reports of widespread skin disease and other problems caused by poor hygiene.

“We ran out of medicine yesterday,” said Nuraini, a military doctor overseeing local relief efforts in the Central Jakarta district. “Most people have diarrhea and are sick after being in the water for too long.” Like many Indonesians, Dr. Nuraini uses a single name. Mohammed Syaifudin, 31, said he swam through 2.5 -metre-deep floodwaters outside his house to get supplies and medicine for his wife, son and parents who have moved upstairs. “I called my relatives for help, but their homes were flooded too,” he said. “We want to leave, but don't know where to go.”

As authorities warned of the threat of dysentery and cholera, anger mounted at the government's response to the floods, which burst riverbanks throughout the city Thursday and turned scores of districts, rich and poor alike, into lakes of debris and sewage. “We live in modern times. People should have been warned,” said Stefanus Lamury, who lives in a flooded residential area near the centre of Jakarta, a city of 12 million. “No one should have died because of this.”

Soldiers in boats delivered instant noodles and rice to those who chose to stay on the upper floors of their homes, refusing to evacuate due to fears of looting, said army Capt. Tohar. Most who fled their homes are staying at mosques, schools or government buildings, sleeping on floors with little access to restrooms.

Communal kitchens have been set up, but many have complained of receiving little food and being overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of needy. Authorities earlier estimated that up to half of the city, which covers more than 660 square kilometres, had been submerged by waters up to four meters deep.

Residents in several districts said water levels dropped or receded completely Monday, only to rise again after heavy downpours overnight. Most of the renewed flooding was reported to be between 50 centimetres and two metres deep. Dr. Rustam Pakaya, head of the Health Ministry's crisis centre, said the number of people forced out of their homes had dropped to 221,088, from almost 340,000 on Monday.

The country's meteorological agency said light rains were forecast in the next few days. “The coming rains will not be as intense as those that triggered the big floods,” forecaster Ahmad Zakir said. “Nevertheless, at the moment rivers are still swollen. People have to remain vigilant for the next two or three days.” Landslides and flash floods kill hundreds during Indonesia's annual wet season, but the capital has rarely - if ever - seen such severe flooding.

The water inundated dozens of Jakarta markets, schools and businesses. Electricity and water supplies have been cut to much of the city and surrounding towns. Environmentalists blame the annual flooding on trash-clogged storm drains and rivers, inadequate urban planning, and deforestation of hillsides south of the city - often to make space for luxury villas.


Link to related event Related event:
Floods hit West Java

Related blog entries (category 'Flooding') Related blog entries (category 'Flooding'):
06 February 2007 · United Nations ready to assist flood-stricken Indonesia
05 February 2007 · Floods hit some 75% of Jakarta, 25 killed
05 February 2007 · High water level halts evacuation of flood victims
05 February 2007 · Jakartans warned more rain on the way
05 February 2007 · Situation report: Floods Jakarta, Bekasi, Tangerang and Banten


Posted in Flooding @ 06 February 2007 13:40 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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