Jakarta floods leave dozens dead, 60,000 displaced

Jakarta – Severe flooding in Jakarta that’s left swaths of the capital underwater has killed at least 30 people and forced tens of thousands to flee their homes, according to Indonesia’s disaster agency.

Torrential rains have been pounding the greater Jakarta region since New Year’s Eve, causing 62,453 people to be evacuated to temporary shelters, the Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management said in a statement Thursday.

Most of the victims died in Bogor district and East Jakarta, the agency said. Among the dead, 17 were swept away by the floods, five were buried by landslides and five were electrocuted.

Heavy rains are predicted to continue through to January 10, it added.

Images from Jakarta’s greater metropolitan area, which is home to about 30 million people, showed residents wading through chest-high flood waters as they attempted to retrieve items from their waterlogged homes.

The flooding is the worst the city has seen in decades. The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysical Agency measured 15 inches of rain at an East Jakarta airport on January 1, the highest flood reading since 1996, Reuters reported.

Up to 30 million people live in the region

In a separate statement, the disaster management board implored residents in affected areas, who chose to stay and protect their homes, to evacuate.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo blamed the situation on delays to the construction of flood-control infrastructure in a post on Twitter.

Jakarta, which is prone to flooding, is one of the fastest-sinking cities in the world. Last year, the government announced that it is relocating the megalopolis – a project estimated to cost the equivalent of around $34 billion. (CNN)