More than 9,000 people were evacuated from the Indonesian capital Jakarta as a third day of flooding killed two people and threatened to inundate the offices of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
Water levels from Jakarta’s main flood gate near the presidential office topped 10 meters, risking wider flooding in a key downtown area. Officials from the Jakarta government and the National Agency for Disaster Management will meet today to discuss ways to stem the floods, which were brought on by seasonal rains.
“It doesn’t matter if the Presidential Palace is flooded,” Yudhoyono said in a statement sent by the disaster management agency. “The most important thing is that the public is protected.”
One person drowned and another was electrocuted while trying to fix a power failure during heavy rains, Ade Satria, an official with the Jakarta Disaster Management Agency, said by phone.
As of last night, 9,517 people were evacuated from the capital, according to Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the National Agency for Disaster Management.
Floodwaters from heavy rains in Indonesia’s capital made many roads impassable, including one of several streets leading to Jakarta’s main international airport, the Detik.com news website reported, citing police.
Jakarta sits in a low-lying area with 13 rivers and more than 1,400 kilometers of man-made waterways, making it prone to flooding, according to the World Bank. About 40 percent of Jakarta’s land area is below sea level. (Bloomberg)
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