Sunday, February 11, 2007

The flooding of Jakarta

By Michael J.W. Stickings

The flood waters in Jakarta, Indonesia are receding, but at least 50 people have been killed and "[m]ore than two-thirds of the 340,000 people forced from their homes by the floods remain in temporary shelters". And:

Officials have warned of diseases such as typhoid, cholera and diarrhoea.

Markets have begun to reopen, with the fewer customers than normal having to wade through water to buy their wares.

Water levels remain high in lower-lying areas close to rivers where many poorer people live.

Power supplies are still cut off, disrupting telecommunications.

Jakarta's planning minister Paskah Suzzeta said the cost of the flooding is thought to be $452m (£230m).

Where the waters have receded, a thick layer of smelly mud and debris has been left behind.

Here's an overhead shot of a residential area from the BBC. It's eerily reminiscent of shots taken of New Orleans after Katrina hit. (You can find more pictures of the flooding here and here, many very much like what was seen in New Orleans.) Obviously, though, poverty and population density are much more of a problem in Jakarta. So, too, is the likelihood of disease. How will it ever recover?

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