The Jakarta Post, Jakarta/Depok, Wed, January 16 2013,
A night-long downpour coupled with strong winds in Greater Jakarta has put the capital, once again, into severe gridlock on Tuesday and claimed at least eight lives.
At least 6,101 people in Jakarta had to evacuate as of Tuesday evening due to flood waters inundating 50 subdistricts, according to the Jakarta Disaster Mitigation Agency.
News reports say the water was more than 3 meters deep in Kampung Pulo, East Jakarta, and Kedoya Selatan in West Jakarta was 2 meters under water after a nearby embankment collapsed.
The Jakarta Police’s Traffic Management Center reported that as a result of the flood, traffic congestion was seen in several areas in the city, such as Jl. Ciledug Raya in South Jakarta, Jl. Dewi Sartika in East Jakarta and Jl. Daan Mogot in West Jakarta.
A resident of Pondok Aren in South Tangerang, Jamaludin, said that he was stuck in a traffic jam on Jl. Ciledug Raya for almost an hour as other roads were flooded.
“Jl. Deplu [in South Jakarta] was flooded to around 50 centimeters. So I guess many cars and motorcycles chose to use other roads to avoid it,” he said, adding that it took him around 90 minutes to reach his office in West Jakarta.
In addition, trains serving the route between Bogor and Jatinegara, East Jakarta, were forced to stop at the Angke station in West Jakarta after the Kampung Badan station was inundated the border between North Jakarta and Central Jakarta to avoid technical glitches.
“Trains serving the circular route stops at the Angke station. They cannot reach the Pasar Senen or Jatinegara station,” State railway operator spokesman PT KAI Mateta Rizalulhaq said.
Transjakarta Corridor 3 that links Kalideres in West Jakarta to Harmoni in Central Jakarta was also closed due to flooding on Jl. Daan Mogot.
The torrential rain on Tuesday morning also claimed the lives of six people in Bogor, West Java, who were buried in a landslide from a 30-meter cliff that swept through 10 houses and a mosque.
The six victims were identified as Roni, 17; Aris, 50; Hendri, 7; and 45-year-old Karmina with her two children, Robi, 21, and Ita, 12.
Two construction workers, identified as Gunarto, 40, and Benjot, 35, also fell victim when a concrete wall from a half-built house in Pondok Indah, South Jakarta, fell onto their shanty during the heavy rain.
The heavy rain also inundated flood-prone areas in Jakarta as the water level at the Katulampa sluice gates in Bogor, West Java, reached an alarming level.
The Jakarta Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Arfan Arkili said that around 5 p.m. areas around the Ciliwung River, including Rawajati, Bukit Duri, Bidara Cina and Kampung Melayu were inundated.
“Residents in Kampung Melayu started to evacuate at 2 p.m. and moved to several shelters we have provided,” he said.
An increase in the water level was also recorded at Depok sluice gate, West Java, reaching an alarming 350 centimeters, the highest recorded level for five years.
Ardih Suhardi, an officer at the Ciliwung water monitoring station, said that the river’s water level usually reached 280 centimeters during rainy season. The water level in 2007, when a severe flood drowned the capital, was recorded at 465 centimeters.
Meanwhile, thousands of people in Tangerang municipality, Tangerang regency and South Tangerang were forced to leave their houses and move to temporary shelters due to floods.
Joint rescue team members from the Army, fire department and the search and rescue agency had been deployed to help evacuate people who were still trapped.
“Some residents refused to leave their homes [...] when rescue teams tried to evacuate them,” Lt. Col. Dani Wardhana, from Tangerang Military District Command told The Jakarta Post.