Jakarta – Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan has implied that the majority of the capital was safe from the recent floods, claiming that floodwater only inundated 15 percent of Jakarta at the beginning of the year.
According to the city administration, the figure indicates that Jakarta is prepared to handle any future floods. The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) had warned that heavy rainfall could last a week after hours-long downpours hit Jakarta and its satellite cities on New Year's Eve, causing severe floods.
"We have a total of 478 pumps spread across 176 locations, in addition to 122 mobile pumps. All pumps function well, Insya Allah [God willing]," he said as quoted by Antara news agency on Sunday.
"Therefore, Alhamdulillah [thank God] 85 percent of Jakarta is safe and only 15 percent was affected."
Of the 15 percent, less than 1 percent was inundated by floods more than 1.5 meters in height, Anies said, concluding from this that "in terms of the system, Jakarta has prepared well".
However, Anies acknowledged that the current number pumps owned by the city administration could not cope with extreme rainfall intensity.
"We are now preparing for short-term mitigation with the systems and facilities that are readily available, as the BMKG has warned of possible heavy rainfall in the upcoming weeks," Anies said. "We would talk about long-term recovery afterward."
Similarly, Jakarta Water Source Management Agency head Juaini Yusuf admitted some pumps at 10 locations submerged in floodwater on Jan. 1.
"We are considering elevating the height of the pumps in certain locations. There are 10 locations, according to reports from the field," Juaini said on Monday, adding that the 10 locations were lowland areas.
The severe flooding that hit parts of Greater Jakarta and Lebak in Banten has claimed at least 67 lives – 16 from Jakarta – and affected over 500,000 people. About 14,535 people remained in shelters as of Tuesday at 6 a.m., according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency. (sau)