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Massive Flooding Hits Indonesian Capital

  • Andy Lala

Heavy flooding has made roads impassable in Jakarta, Indonesia, Feb. 10, 2015. (A. Lala/VOA)

Heavy flooding has made roads impassable in Jakarta, Indonesia, Feb. 10, 2015. (A. Lala/VOA)

Massive flooding in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta has caused widespread transit disruptions and displaced nearly 6,000 people.

President Joko Widodo, widely known as Jokowi, told reporters Tuesday that he wants construction to begin immediately on anti-flood projects such as a canal and reservoir.

He added that the government can do a better job in the city of 9 million, which is prone to flooding during the monsoon season.

Even before the peak rainy season, flooding has closed roads and displaced thousands in Jakarta, Feb. 10, 2015. (A. Lala/VOA)

Even before the peak rainy season, flooding has closed roads and displaced thousands in Jakarta, Feb. 10, 2015. (A. Lala/VOA)

"Of course, these wouldn’t be resolved in one or two days or in one or two years,” he said. “Flooding has hit Jakarta for decades, but we can resolve it," he said.

Following days of heavy rains, the presidential palace and the National Museum are in two of the areas that are under at least 50 centimeters or almost 20 inches of water.

Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, widely known as Ahok, blamed the flooding on rising sea levels and the city’s insufficient pumping capacity.

"The burden of our position being under the sea level isn’t just the rainfall, it’s because the rainfall couldn't be pumped out while sea water is coming in," he said.

Meanwhile, Jakarta's police chief, Inspector General Unggung Cahyono, said his force is coordinating with the Jakarta government to evacuate affected communities and provide inflatable boats.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Indonesian service.

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