Jakarta (hopefully) survived the annual battle against flood
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there’s a lot of problem in this city, and flood is annual problem. But hey, it’s Jakarta. :-)
Fauzi Claims an Early Victory in the City’s Annual Battle Against FloodsJakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo is claiming an early victory in the battle against flooding during the rainy season, saying measures taken against what has become a near annual disaster were working, at least in the center of the city.
Speaking on Wednesday, Fauzi said this was proven by how quickly water was able to drain from parts of Central Jakarta that had previously flooded after periods of sustained rainfall.
He said the steps taken to mitigate against surface flooding included clearing trash from drains.
“Dozens of the city’s garbage trucks have cleared trash from the drains along Jalan Sudirman and Jalan Thamrin so they can function at maximum level,” he said. Fauzi added that residents should take better care of the environment and not throw their trash in the street.
Fauzi said he was optimistic that the flooding this year would not be as serious as in previous years.
After heavy rain on Wednesday, flooding was reported in all five municipalities in the capital, including along Jalan Sabang in Central Jakarta.
Deputy Governor Prijanto said that although the city administration had worked hard to reduce flooding, there was no guarantee of eliminating it.
“The East and West Flood Canals can only reduce the flooding by 40 percent,” he said.
Prijanto said that in addition to the administration’s efforts to reduce flooding, it had also put in place flood-response plans, including readying 8,000 emergency-response workers to cover the city’s 48 flood-prone areas and installing closed-circuit television cameras to monitor water levels in the canals and rivers that flow through Jakarta.
“We’re certain that this year’s flood mitigation efforts will be better,” he said.
Dien Emawati, head of the Jakarta Health Agency, said her agency had 396 medical workers, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists and ambulance drivers, on standby in the event of severe flooding.
The city has also appointed 17 hospitals where flood victims can receive free medical treatment. “People only need a reference letter from their local neighborhood to get treatment in the hospitals,” she said.
It was unclear if residents without Jakarta identification cards, normally the poor who live in the flood-prone areas, would be eligible for the free treatment.
Fauzi, speaking at the National Monument (Monas) Park, said the city also would cooperate with the Army’s Special Forces (Kopassus) in its mitigation efforts and had donated equipment to help them operate, including 10 motorcycles, 2 rubber dinghies, 8 manual pumps, 50 buoys, 36 oars and 50 ropes.
Brig. Gen. Paulus Lodewijks, commander of Kopassus, said the elite unit would gradually become more active in disaster rescue operations around the country, as mandated by law.
Jakarta suffered major flooding disasters in 1996, 2002, 2007 and 2008
Massive floods in February 2007 killed 52 people, displaced 450,000 residents and left untold numbers sickened by illnesses ranging from diarrhea to dengue fever.
The National Development Planning Agency calculated the economic losses from the 2007 floods at Rp 8.8 trillion ($871.2 million). An estimated 39 percent of the city was underwater following 72 hours of rain.
Read more on Jakarta Globe’s website: http://thejakartaglobe.com/news/fauzi-claims-an-early-victory-in-the-citys-annual-battle-against-floods/353934