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Friday, February 16, 2007

Jakarta Floods

Thousands head home as floods recede.

Tens of thousands of people displaced by floods that have inundated the Indonesian capital for almost a week were beginning to leave emergency shelters and start the unpleasant task of cleaning out their mud-filled homes.
"As of 6:00 this morning, there were only about 160,000 refugees left in registered shelters across the city," said an official at the city's crisis centre.
According to the health ministry, 50 people died and at the height of the floods police said more than 340,000 people had fled their flooded homes.
But Ika from the Indonesian Red Cross said the situation was changeable.
"It is difficult to make a count of the number of displaced people at shelter points because the number tends to be fluid as people come and go depending on the situation," Ika said.
A health ministry official toured the city early Thursday to check on medical arrangements for flood victims.
Losses due to the floods were now estimated at 4.3 trillion rupiah (475 million dollars), up from 4.1 trillion rupiah earlier, the state Antara news agency said, quoting National Development Planning Agency deputy head Max Pohan.
He said the figure included losses in public infrastructure and those suffered by private residents but did not yet cover loss of business and other side-effects.
The Indonesian Traders Association said the prices of basic commodities such as rice, sugar, cooking oil and eggs had risen due to distribution problems.
Cheap rice had risen from around 4,200 rupiah (46 cents) a kilogram (2.2 pounds) to 5,000 rupiahs. Police said only about eight areas remained impassable to normal traffic.
"There is no water for cleaning our home, all we can do for now is to push the sludge out of the house," said Wiweko Harjan whose house in Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta, was flooded under some 1.2 metres (four feet) of water for days.
Similar complaints were heard from returning flood victims in other areas, with the state Antara news agency quoting one resident in East Jakarta as hoping for more rains to flush the sludge and debris away from their residential area - AFP.

Similar to the Johore Floods. A pitiful sight and a catastrophe for the people.