At a glance: Indonesia

More aid needed for thousands displaced by severe flooding in Jakarta

UNICEF Image
© UNICEF Indonesia/2007/Estey
Indonesian children play in muddy floodwater after days of heavy rains in Kampung Melayu, Jakarta.

By Kun Li

NEW YORK, USA, 6 February 2007 – Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, was paralyzed over the weekend as severe flooding left large parts of the city underwater. Relief assistance is now beginning to reach affected areas.

The flooding, coupled with seasonal torrential rains, inundated thousands of houses and other buildings, including about 1,500 schools, and displaced some 340,000 people. Roads, safe water, telephone lines and electricity remain inaccessible to many of the city’s residents.

Districts surrounding Jakarta – including Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi – were also seriously affected.

Jakarta police report that at least 29 people have died in the floods so far. Meanwhile, the displaced are now seeking refuge in crowded mosques, schools and government buildings.

Relief supplies brought in

The government’s relief teams continue to evacuate people still stranded in their houses – either trapped or unwilling to abandon them despite warnings that muddy water, running four metres deep in some areas, may rise further.

According to local media, the country’s Geophysical and Meteorological Agency has reported that heavy rains could continue over the next few days in Jakarta and neighbouring districts. Forecasters have also warned of possible landslides in some areas.

UNICEF Image
© UNICEF Indonesia/2007/Estey
Children and their families seek refuge in one of many crowded relief camps in and around the Indonesian capital.

Emergency supplies such as food, water, tents, mobile toilets and public kitchens have been brought in by rubber boats and distributed to displaced families. But Indonesia’s National Coordinating Board for the Management of Disaster says additional relief supplies are urgently needed.

International response

Pending an official aid request from the Indonesian Government, UNICEF is preparing to provide jerry cans for carrying potable water, as well as water-purification tablets, oral rehydration salts and other supplies.

UNICEF also plans to launch an immunization campaign, during which children affected by the disaster will receive protection against polio and measles, and vitamin A supplements to boost their immune systems.

The governments of several countries – including Australia, Denmark, France, Italy, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States – as well as the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid Department, have all indicated their willingness to help Indonesian children and families in the flooded areas.


 

 

Video

6 February 2007:
UNICEF correspondent Suzanne Dayne reports from Jakarta on the severe flooding in most of the city and surrounding districts.
 VIDEO  high | low

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