North Jakarta Sea Wall Prone to Collapse,
The Jakarta Globe, January 25, 2013
A four-kilometer sea wall made up of stones on the northern coast of Jakarta may not be strong enough to prevent tidal floods, an official said on Friday.
The wall, which is near Pasar Ikan in the Penjaringan sub-district of North Jakarta, is supposed to be able to withstand tidal floods up to 2.3-meters high above sea level.
But the deputy chief of the Jakarta Public Works Office said the wall, which was built primarily to stem tidal floods in the short term, could collapse or leak if the water levels were higher.
"The main problem is actually not the tidal flood walls. When heavy rains falls over Puncak and Jakarta, the water will have difficulty flowing into the sea and that will mean that there will be stagnant water inland in Jakarta,” the official Tarjuki said.
“The water from Puncak and from local rains would remain on land. Hopefully this does not happen."
Officials have aired their concerns that the full moon, between Jan. 26 to 29, could result in higher tides, which could lead to more flooding in the city.
Andi Arief, a presidential adviser on disaster management and social affairs, said in a press release that the water may remain stagnant inland for about 12 hours only, in line with the tide cycle.
"The water from the upstream regions may be obstructed from reaching the sea by the tide for 12 hours, but after that the water will recede and water will flow back into the sea," Arief said.
Arief said the areas in North Jakarta which were most likely to be inundated during the high tide include the Monas area around the palace, Menteng, Tanah Abang, Cempaka Putih and Senenn.
North Jakarta Mayor Bambang Sugiyono said authorities were already prepared to face the worst case scenarios with the floods. He called on people in inundated areas to not hesitate or be afraid to evacuate and leave flooded homes.
Tarjuki said that a special team, comprised of officials from his office and the city's irrigation office, had been formed to conduct checks on embankments considered to be in critical conditions.