JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Annual floods swept through Jakarta for the second straight day on Saturday, February 20, even as the capital and the rest of Indonesia continues to reel from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The waters forced 1,380 people from their homes in 200 of the neighborhoods. No casualties were reported in the natural disaster.
“The 1,380 displaced persons are from 379 households. 372 of those households, or 1,361 people, are from 143 neighborhoods in the East Jakarta municipality, as of Saturday morning,” said Regional Disaster Management Agency [BPBD] for Jakarta official Sabdo Kurnianto.
“South Jakarta municipality is second-worst hit, with 19 people from seven households, and West Jakarta. The floodwaters in the stricken areas averaged 40 to 150 centimeters.”
Sabdo highlighted the logistical needs of the displaced persons. “[BPBD] will need to provide [the displaced persons] with boats, food and drink, medical supplies, mattresses and blankets, as well as medical masks,” he noted. “I hope the public can help provide these supplies to those in need.”
Sabdo also urged the public to contact the emergency services if they encounter the floods, and to maintain health protocols due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Indonesian Red Cross [ PMI] also moved to provide aid for the stricken areas. “We will install food kitchens in 26 areas designated for displaced persons across the municipalities of East Jakarta, South Jakarta and West Jakarta,” announced PMI Secretary-General Sudirman Said.
“The food kitchens will provide 11,300 rice boxes and 18,500 loaves of bread.” He admitted that the flood relief efforts are more challenging than in previous years.
“Our volunteers must comply with health protocols because of the Covid-19 pandemic, as they rescued and provide other services to those affected by the floods.”
Meteorology and Climatology Agency [ BMKG] head Dwikorita Karnawati urged the public to beware of extreme weather patterns. She warned that “the peak of the rainy season will last until early March.”
Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan attributed the floods to floodwaters from the satellite city of Depok, West Java. “The floodwaters came to Jakarta through the Krukut and Mampang Rivers,” said the Gerindra Party politician.
“The waters then swept through the Sudirman thoroughfare and other parts of Jakarta.” Aside from Sudirman, the floods hit the hip South Jakarta neighborhood of Kemang. The waters have yet to recede in both areas or the epicenter of the flood in Cipinang Melayu, East Jakarta.
(Writers: Ihsanuddin, Ardito Ramadhan, Ellyvon Pranita | Editors: Irfan Maullana, Egidius Patnistik, Shierine Wangsa Wibawa)