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Indonesian capital hit by monsoon floods, more than 1,000 forced to evacuate

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By Tabita Sunday

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Extreme levels of flood danger were announced in several parts of the Indonesian capital on Friday, with more than a thousand people forced to flee their homes on Saturday, with the country’s meteorological agency warning that conditions were set to continue for next week.

About 1,380 Jakarta residents were evacuated from the southern and eastern areas of the city, home to 10 million people, after floodwaters reached up to 1.8 meters high in some areas, said Sabdo Kurnianto, the interim chairman of the Jakarta news agency. disaster mitigation in a statement. He said no casualties were reported.

People posted photos on social media of residents trampling muddy waters over their shoulders, almost completely submerged cars and search crews evacuating elderly residents on dinghies at the height of the monsoon season.

“Two hundred neighborhoods have been affected, according to the latest figures,” Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan told local television early Saturday, adding that more than two dozen evacuation centers had been set up across the city.

“The rain has stopped, but water from other areas is still affecting Jakarta. Hopefully it will not hit the city center and when the water recedes people can resume their activities.”

The floods come at a time when Indonesia is already facing the highest case load and number of deaths from COVID-19 in Southeast Asia and an economic recession.

The Indonesia Meteorological Agency (BMKG) has warned that the heaviest rain of the season could fall in and around the densely populated capital in the coming days, with extreme weather including heavy rain, thunderstorms and strong winds expected during next week.

“These are critical periods of which we should be aware,” said Dwikorita Karnawati, head of the BMKG.

“Jakarta and the surrounding areas are still in the peak period of the rainy season, which is estimated to continue until the end of February or the beginning of March.”

BMKG said Jakarta will be on standby for the next four days with data from the meteorological agency showing heavy rainfall in the last 24 hours with the Pasar Minggu area, south of Jakarta, recording 226 millimeters of rain since Friday.

(Additional Report by Angie Teo; Written by Kate Lamb; Edited by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

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