Jakarta / Wed, January 1, 2020 / 12:32 pm
Massive floods marked the first day of 2020 in Greater Jakarta on Wednesday after heavy rains pounded the the capital and its peripheral areas since New Year’s Eve.
The rain that has soaked the capital city since Tuesday has caused floods in housing areas, at Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in East Jakarta and disrupted train networks.
The Transportation Ministry’s air transportation director-general, Polana B. Pramesti, said the airport has been closed since midnight, since its runways were inundated by up to 80 centimeters of water.
“We can’t predict when the water will recede,” she said in a statement.
At least 10 flights were reportedly canceled.
Many train trips in Greater Jakarta were also disrupted because of water that had submerged stretches of railway tracks along the Manggarai to Tanah Abang line. Railway tracks in Tanah Abang Station in Central Jakarta were submerged under as much as 50 cm of water, causing state-owned train operator PT KAI to temporarily stop commuter line trains operating from Tanah Abang to the Serpong, Maja, and Rangkasbitung stations in Tangerang.
The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) has reported that at least seven subdistricts in four districts were hit by floods on Tuesday morning, submerging housing areas and streets. Areas in Central Jakarta, South Jakarta, North Jakarta, East Jakarta and West Jakarta were affected by flooding.
In East Jakarta, 12 neighborhood units in Cipinang Melayu were inundated 30 cm to 80 cm deep by the overflowing Sunter River while Pinang Ranti was inundated by from 20 cm to 70 cm of water.
In North Jakarta, areas affected by floods included Cilincing, Kelapa Molek and East Kelapa Gading, while in West Jakarta, 11 neighborhood units in Cengkareng were hit by floods 60 cm to 70 cm deep.
In South Jakarta floodwaters inundated one neighborhood unit in South Manggarai and Tebet up to 90 cm deep.
Several areas in Greater Jakarta were also affected by floods. In Pondok Gede and Rawa Panjang, Bekasi, West Java, floodwaters have inundated several residential areas.
In Tangerang, Banten, floods hit the Pulo Indah housing complex in Cipindoh with water reaching depths of up to about 1 meter.
Sabrina, one of the residents, said floodwaters came to the area at about 3 a.m. "The last time we experienced flooding was in 2012. Usually, floodwaters never inundated our houses."
Floods also caused landslides in Bojongkulur and Bumi Mutiara Bogor, West Java, resulting in heavy damage to two houses.
Flooding also disrupted several roads in the capital city. The Jatinegara toll road was inundated by up to 60 cm at the 3.8-kilometer point, causing all vehicles to be rerouted to Rawamangun exit toll.
Floodwaters inundated the Joglo toll road's exit in Srengseng, Kembangan, West Jakarta by up to 50 cm and Jl. Daan Mogot in Cengkareng, West Java. Several motorcyclists were trapped in the areas because the water caused their machines to break down.
"I could not turn on my motorcycle because water has entered the muffler," Supriadi, one of the motorcyclists, said as reported by kompas.com.
Several other roads were also affected by floods, like Jl. Perintis Kemerdekaan in Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta, and the Cawang Interchange Tunnel in East Jakarta, which were submerged up to 50 cm deep.
Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan has instructed officials in the Jakarta administration to get directly involved and help evacuate the affected areas.
"I want all the officials in the Jakarta administrations to make sure that all government buildings and schools are ready to be used as evacuation shelters. Prepare public kitchens, healthcare posts, medicines, sleeping mats, public toilets and other basic needs for evacuees," Anies said on Wednesday morning. (nal)