Kampung Pulo Hit With 2m of Water After Bogor Rains
Lenny Tristia Tambun
The low-lying area of Kampung Pulo in East Jakarta was flooded in up to two meters of water on Friday after heavy rains in the upstream area of Bogor sent a torrent of water gushing down the Ciliwung River.
Residents of the neighborhood, one of the worst-hit in the major flooding that brought much of Jakarta to a standstill two weeks earlier, had been bracing for the surge since Thursday night.
Officials in Bogor had been forced to open the Katulampa floodgate because of the dangerously high level of water.
Arfan Arkilie, the head of the Jakarta Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD), said on Friday that some 1,100 households comprising nearly 3,600 people were affected by the flooding that struck before dawn.
However, he said that none of the residents, still recovering from the severe flooding in mid-January, had opted to evacuate to dry ground.
“Maybe that’s because compared to the earlier flood, the inundation this time around is relatively low, so they’ve chosen to stay put,” Arfan said at City Hall.
Other areas along the banks of the Ciliwung also suffered flooding, though not as badly as in Kampung Pulo, with the BPBD reporting inundation in parts of the Cililitan and Cawang wards in East Jakarta, and the Kebon Baru, Bukit Duri and Manggarai wards in South Jakarta.
Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), said that the heavy rainfall in Bogor throughout Thursday had caused the water level at the Katulampa floodgate to rise to 160 centimeters, prompting the second-highest alert level there.
“With the water level so high, it was inevitable that parts of downstream areas in Jakarta would get flooded. Fortunately, the scale of the flooding was not as extensive as we saw on January 15,” he said.
He added that the BNPB had urged local authorities to respond promptly, including by providing relief supplies to affected residents and preparing to set up temporary shelters in the event that the flooding worsened.
He noted that the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) was predicting medium to heavy rain in Jakarta over the weekend, which could make the situation worse.
Official estimates of the total cost of the effects of last month’s flooding have yet to be announced.
One group claims the city took a hit of Rp 32 trillion ($3.3 billion) as a result of the disaster that left some places inundated for more than a week.
Yani Miryam, the head of the women’s wing of the People’s Conscience Party (Hanura), said on Wednesday that the direct losses in the Greater Jakarta area reached Rp 7 trillion to Rp 8 trillion.
“The economic recovery … is predicted to reach three to four times [that],” she said.
She called the disaster regrettable, saying the Rp 32 trillion could have been better spent on building infrastructure, and urged the city administration to resolve the perennial flooding problem.
Yani recommended several anticipatory measures for authorities to take in addressing the problem comprehensively, such as building new infrastructure and enforcing zoning regulations.
Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo has vowed to audit documents relating to the design of buildings in the capital immediately after the city finishes with flood-relief efforts.
The governor alleged that many buildings were built on land that was supposed to be used as water catchment areas, thereby disrupting the city’s drainage system and contributing to flooding.