Thursday, December 7, 2023

Death Toll Rises in Jakarta Flood as Hypothermia, Electric Shock Claim Lives

Maria Fatima Bona, Asni Ovier
January 2, 2020 | 12:35 pm
More than 30,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in Jakarta during the New Year's Day flood. (Antara Photo/Muhammad Iqbal)
More than 30,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in Jakarta during the New Year's Day flood. (Antara Photo/Muhammad Iqbal)

Jakarta. At least 15 people have lost their lives from drowning, electric shocks, landslides and hypothermia during the New Year's Day flood in Jakarta, with another person still reported missing, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, or BNPB, announced on Thursday.

The capital and its satellite cities – Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi – were hit by massive floods on Tuesday and Wednesday after recording the highest rain intensity on record.

Floodwaters were still inundating many areas in Greater Jakarta (Jabodetabek) on Thursday.

Jakarta's disaster mitigation agency (BDPB Jakarta) said power and crucial public services in the city were gradually being restored on Thursday.


Evacuation shelters have also been set up for residents who have been displaced from their homes.

The agency said 158 out of the capital's 267 subdistricts had been hit by floods. 

A total of 31,200 people have been evacuated from their homes in Jakarta, according to the agency. Few others were not so lucky. 

There were seven casualties in Jakarta, with one person still missing, the BNPB said. Three senior citizens succumbed to hypothermia and died in Cipinang Melayu, one of the worst-hit subdistrict in East Jakarta. 

A 16-year-old in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta, and a 73-year-old woman in East Jakarta had died from electrocution. Two people in South Tangerang and Tangerang were also reported to have died from electric shocks.

A 19-year-old in Duren Sawit, East Jakarta, and a 29-year-old man who lived near the Grogol River in West Jakarta, had drowned during the flood. 

In Depok, south of Jakarta, three people, all from one family, died in their sleep after heavy rains triggered a landslide that buried their house on New Year's Eve.

A landslide also claimed the life of a 30-year-old woman in Bogor. In the same city, a river dam busted, creating strong currents that washed away a 20-year-old man from his home and killed him.  

A 14-year-old boy is the only casualty of the flood so far in Bekasi, east of Jakarta. He drowned in a gutter while playing in floodwaters.  

"We are still collecting data from various sources, so there's a possibility that the number of victims would increase," BNPB spokesman Agus Wibowo said.

According to the Social Affairs Ministry, at least 21 were reported to have been killed by the flood. 

"The latest report we received said 21 people had died. We have confirmed 19 deaths so far, we're still checking the other two," Social Affairs Minister Juliari Peter Batubara said on Thursday.

Mulyono R. Prabowo, the deputy head of the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), warned the extreme weather conditions were expected to continue over the next two days. 

According to the agency, rainfall with "very high intensity" is expected to last until Jan. 4 in Greater Jakarta. 

The extreme weather conditions are expected to spread to other parts of Java and to Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Papua and Nusa Tenggara over the next week, Mulyono said. 

"People must watch out for flash floods, landslides, strong winds, falling trees and slippery roads," he said in a statement on Thursday.

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