Jakarta, Jan 2 (IANS) Severe flooding in Jakarta has claimed at least 19 lives and forced thousands of people to flee their homes after heavy rains inundated both residential and commercial areas across the Indonesian capital, the government said on Thursday.
The Social Affairs Ministry confirmed the toll, saying that it was trying to ascertain the deaths of two more people in the floods and landslides which occurred after the heavy rains that started on Tuesday and continued into the early hours of Wednesday, reports The Jakarta Post.
The Ministry said that seven victims, ranging from five to 60 years old, had been swept away by floodwaters in Kampung Sinar Harapan, Harkat Jaya village, Sukajaya district.
Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan has prioritized several areas in East Jakarta for evacuation, including Cawang, Kayu Putih and Cakung.
After an aerial survey conducted by National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) head Lt. Gen. Doni Monardo using a helicopter, the Governor said more than 19,000 people had fled their homes as of Wednesday afternoon.
“The worst is in East Jakarta with 9,248 people (displaced), South Jakarta with 5,080,” he said.
Anies said there were 3,535 people at temporary shelters in West Jakarta, 888 in North Jakarta and 310 in Central Jakarta.
East Jakarta Fire and Rescue Agency head Gatot Sulaeman told The Jakarta Post that more than 500 residents had been evacuated from 10 locations on Wednesday.
Commuter train operator PT Kereta Commuter Indonesia (KCI) said adjustments had been made to some routes because of flooding in some areas.