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Jakarta flood victims face stinking garbage, mud JAKARTA - Thousands of residents of the Indonesian capital began returning to their homes on Wednesday as flood waters receded, but they faced a huge task clearing up streets and homes caked in stinking garbage and mud. The death toll from the floods, the worst for at least five years, rose to 50 people, a health ministry official said.

A lull in the recent torrential rains meant the waters had receded in some parts of Jakarta, which together with suburbs is home to an estimated 14 million people. "This morning the Jakarta regional crisis centre will fog and spray disinfectant in five regions," said Rustam Pakaya of the health ministry, amid worries about dengue and other diseases carried by mosquitos breeding in the stagnant flood water.

The floods that started late last week have also sparked concerns over sanitation with so many camping out in make-shift shelters. Pakaya, who said the number of displaced people had fallen to about 260,000 from 340,000, said that water tankers capable of distributing 15,000 litres per hour had been dispatched.He said 15 tonnes of medicine and 32 tonnes of biscuits had been sent to the worst-hit areas of the city. In addition, 3,000 medical personnel had been sent out.

In the Central Jakarta district of Pejompongan where waters had receded, residents were met by piles of garbage and mud covering their roads and houses. In some areas, water trucks tried to hose away debris and fill tanks at individual houses where tap water was not back. The floods were blamed for a suspected murder and suicide in the North Jakarta district of Penjaringan.

A police official said a husband stabbed his wife to death after they fought over problems related to their inundated house late on Monday. He drank liquid detergent afterwards and died in a nearby hospital on Tuesday, police said. "The couple liked to fight but it peaked during flooding. Nobody else was in the house as the others had evacuated," said Santoso, deputy chief of Penjaringan precinct. There may be more flooding to come, with Kompas newspaper quoting a meteorologist as saying more heavy rain may return in two or three days.

The economic impact of the floods, which have caused power blackouts, cut telecommunications and made many key roads impassable will take time to calculate. Planning Minister Paskah Suzetta on Tuesday put an initial estimate of the cost at 4.1 trillion rupiah (350million euro). Environmentalists blamed poor planning in a city that has seen a huge construction boom since the financial crisis of the late 1990s, slashing the water catchment area.

The head of the city's public works agency was quoted by the Jakarta Post as saying that only 2.9 percent of Jakarta's total area was utilised for drainage, below the minimum of 8 percent. However, Gede Nyoman Soewandi said that even at 8 percent the sheer volume of water from recent rain storms would have overwhelmed the drainage system, the paper said.


Link to related event Related event:
Floods hit West Java

Related blog entries (category 'Flooding') Related blog entries (category 'Flooding'):
07 February 2007 · Indonesia floods begin to recede amid disease risk
06 February 2007 · More rain adds to misery in Indonesia's capital
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


Posted in Flooding @ 07 February 2007 09:27 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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