A resident pushes his scooter on Jalan D.I. Panjaitan in Cawang, Jakarta, on Wednesday. (Antara Photo/Aprilio Akbar)

Jakarta to Use Weather Modifying Tech to Prevent More Floods as Death Toll Rises to 26

BY :TELLY NATHALIA

JANUARY 02, 2020

Jakarta. The Technology Assessment and Application Agency, or BPPT, will employ weather modifying technology to prevent more floods in Jakarta as heavy rains that had paralyzed the capital and its surrounding cities are expected to continue in the next few days. 

The technology will be used to direct rains to less populated areas outside the capital, Agus Wibowo, a spokesman at the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), said on Thursday.

"We plan to bring the rains to the Sunda Strait or Lampung, but if the wind flows to the east, we would try to direct them toward major water reservoirs in Jatiluhur and Jatigede [in West Java]," Agus said.

The BNPB and the Indonesian military will assist the BNPT to deploy weather modifying technology using two airplanes, he said.

Meanwhile, the head of the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) Dwikorita Karnawati announced the latest weather forecast for Jakarta for the next two weeks during a meeting to discuss disaster mitigation at the BNPB office in Jakarta on Thursday.

The BMKG predicted parts of Indonesia are likely to experience extreme rainfalls between Jan. 10 and Jan. 15 when moist air is expected to flow in from Eastern Africa. This dangerous airflow will continue until mid-February, she said.

Extreme rains are expected to fall on central parts of Sumatra, southern parts of Kalimantan and southern and southeastern parts of Sulawesi during those dates, Diwkorita said.

Death Toll Up to 26

Floods and landslides caused by the record rainfall in Greater Jakarta on Tuesday and Wednesday had persisted in some parts of Greater Jakarta until Thursday.

The Social Affairs Ministry said the death toll from the flood had risen to 26 by Thursday evening with seven fatalities in Jakarta, 11 in Bogor, three in Depok, two in Tangerang and three in Bekasi.

The causes of death were hypothermia, drowning, landslides, electrocution and being swept away by strong currents. 

The ministry has distributed financial aids of Rp 15 million ($1,000) to the family of each victim.

It has also distributed food and other logistics to flood victims in Jakarta, West Java (Bogor, Depok and Bekasi) and Banten (Tangerang) worth more than Rp 4.5 billion.

The BNPB meanwhile stated the death toll at 17 with more than 35,500 people displaced and taking refuge in evacuation shelters.

Teams from the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas), the National Police and the military (TNI) are still evacuating victims from the hardest-hit areas. 

Around 3,800 police and military officers are helping in the evacuation process and aid distribution, the BNPB said. 

The TNI deployed trucks and rubber dinghies to help in the evacuation. 

Fuel and Gas Supply

State-run oil and gas company Pertamina has announced it has enough stock of fuel and liquid petroleum gas (LPG) for Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi with only 15 filling stations out of a total of 741 shut due to the flood.

Pertamina managed to distribute 6,000 kiloliters of fuel from its integrated terminal in Plumpang in North Jakarta on Thursday morning out of the total of 10,000 kiloliters needed daily in the city, according to Sri Dwi Utami, the company's communication manager.

Pertamina also provides emergency supplies of LPG that can be accessed by contacting its 135 hotline, Sri said.

Meanwhile, a Shell filling station in Daan Mogot, West Jakarta, caught fire on Wednesday night. The cause of the fire is still being investigated, Rhea Sianipar, the communication manager of Shell Indonesia, said.

Two workers at the filling station were severely wounded by the fire according to kompas.com.

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