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Tens of Thousands of Flood Victims in Indonesia Remain Displaced

A man cleans his flood-damaged house in Jakarta, Indonesia, Jan. 5, 2020.
A man cleans his flood-damaged house in Jakarta, Indonesia, Jan. 5, 2020.

At least 60 people have died and nearly 100,000 people are unable to return home, days after devastating rains flooded the Indonesian capital of Jakarta.

Some 11,000 health workers were deployed across the greater Jakarta area Sunday to spray chemicals and distribute medicine to prevent the spread of diseases such as dengue fever as the city remains under water.

Tens of thousands of people remained in temporary shelters, mostly in Western Jakarta Sunday. National weather experts in Indonesia warned that rains were expected to continue in the coming days.

Nonstop rainfall last week flooded 268 tracts in Indonesia, 158 in low-lying Jakarta, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said on its website. Drainage and levees in the capital are considered inadequate for storms of that scale, Southeast Asian economists say.

Tuesday's rainfall reached 377 millimeters (14.8 inches), a record since 2007, The Jakarta Post online said. The rains touched off landslides, trapped people in houses and prompted tens of thousands to evacuate, local media reports say.

Citizens of the city of 11 million want the government to improve flood control work, although much has been done already, said Rajiv Biswas, Asia-Pacific chief economist at market research firm IHS Markit. President Joko Widodo in July suggested building a seawall around Jakarta, much of which is below sea level.

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