Jakarta Braces for Flooding as Heavy Rain is Forecast
The weather bureau says storms and strong wind will continue in Jakarta over the next three days, with about 50 millimeters of rain falling each day.
“It will surely cause inundation. However, the rain this month has yet to cause a major flood like that in January,” said Haryadi, head of the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) early warning department.
Haryadi said the seasonal anomaly was due to high sea water temperatures and the wind’s movement across Java.
“The sea water’s temperature has been high for months. It usually only lasts a month. This has resulted in clouds and eventually affects the lands,” he told beritasatu.com.
The rainy season does not typically being in Jakarta until November, but recent weather conditions have made it hard to make accurate predictions this year.
Nuryadi, head of the Dramaga Climatology Station in Bogor, predicted rain to continue falling on Bogor, Depok and Cianjur in West Java, Tangerang in Banten, and parts of Jakarta, through today.
“Rain is predicted to last all day until later in the afternoon,” Nuryadi said.
Jakarta flood alert
In Bogor, rain showered the city through most of Monday, causing water levels at the Katulampa Dam to reach 140 centimeters by 10:30 a.m., prompting a level-three flood alert in Jakarta. Water levels in the Katulampa Dam was predicted to continue rising.
The dam is the first flood-control reservoir built to contain water from upstream areas. Water from Bogor must inundate the Depok Dam before the capital is flooded.
“The intensity of the rain has been high since yesterday [Sunday]. Since very early on Monday, water levels in Katulampa have reached 60 centimeters or above the normal level [50 centimeters],” Andi Sudirman, head of the Katulampa Dam Watergate, told the Jakarta Globe.
Andi said water levels may continue rising as rain continues to fall intensely.
“Observations at the Cikopo post in Cisarua shows water levels have reached 75 centimeters while the water itself was muddy and rain remained heavy,” he said.
On Sunday, water levels in Katulampa reached 150 centimeters, the highest level during a dry season in recent years.
“The peak was at 4 p.m. [on Sunday], when Ciliwung reached 150 centimeters, meaning up to 276 cubic meters of water was recorded in Katulampa,” Andi said on Sunday.
Data from the Katulampa Dam shows that between July and October, water levels would usually remain below 50 centimeters, often reaching empty because of the dry season.
“During the wet dry season in 2010, the Ciliwung river remained under 100 centimeters despite heavy rain,” Andi explained.
Earlier this month, incessant rain prompted warnings of landslides and floods.
“The disrupted weather during this dry season is predicted to last throughout July until next August. Such a condition could result in high-intensity rain and may see floods, landslides and could trigger pest and diseases, which could eventually cause crop failures,” Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), was quoted as saying by Antaranews.com.
Deaths in Southeast Sulawesi
Several regions across the nation have had heavy floods following rain this month, including several districts in Southeast Sulawesi last week.
Data from the BNPB shows floods in South Konawe have reached 15 subdistricts, with three reported deaths.
Some 1,291 houses were severely damaged in the district, while 450 were moderately damaged and 1,127 were mildly damaged. Some 665 hectares of rice fields were also destroyed in the flood.
In Kendari, the provincial capital, 11 subdistricts went underwater as floods rushed into the city on July 15. The flood killed one person and heavily damaged 32 houses, while 53 homes were moderately damaged and 178 homes were mildly damaged.
Also in Southeast Sulawesi, seven subdistricts were reportedly affected by floods in the district of Kolaka.
Following the floods, the BNPB has offered Rp 700 million ($53,000) in cash and Rp 2 billion in tools to help Southeast Sulawesi residents.
“BNPB offered ready-to-use funds of Rp 700 million to the BPBD [Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency]. Logistics, aid and tools worth Rp 2 billion have also been sent by air,” Sutopo said in on Friday.
Southeast Sulawesi Governor H. Nur Alam acknowledged the flooding in Kendari was among the worst in the city’s history.
“This is an extraordinary flood, because almost every place in the city, located in low areas, were flooded between one to three meters,” Nur Alam said while visiting Kendari on last Tuesday.
In East Jakarta’s densely populated Kampung Melayu on Monday, flood waters reached 1.5 meters.
The area is notorious for flooding, having been inundated during floods in January and March.
Makmun, a local resident, told Detik.com that the flooding started at 2:30 a.m. on Monday after several days of heavy rains, but that locals were reluctant to evacuate.