Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Floods in Jakarta (Indonesia)
More than 30,000 Indonesians have fled their homes in the capital after flooding that has left at least 5 dead. Residents have been using rubber dinghies and wading through waist-deep water to reach safer ground. In some areas, the floodwaters reached up to 3 metres.
Many parts of Jakarta were under murky, brown water after days of torrential rain produced the city's first significant floods of the months-long rainy season.
Buildings in some parts of the sprawling capital, which has a population of more than 10 million and is regularly afflicted by floods, were half submerged, with roads unpassable in many areas, and power cut. The number of those forced to leave their homes jumped from less than 5,000 on Saturday to more than 30,000 on Sunday after heavy rain deluged Jakarta overnight.
People waded through the floods clutching their belongings.
Others used boats to make their way to evacuation centres.
Flooding is a perennial problem in Jakarta, the political and economic heart of Southeast Asia's biggest economy, a fast-growing, poorly planned city. Meanwhile on northern Sulawesi island, the death toll from flash floods and landslides triggered by torrential rain earlier in the week rose to 19, with about 40,000 people still displaced.
Please hold in your prayers the people in Jakarta, those who have been displaced, those whose livelihoods are threatened, those who provide emergencies services, those who have lost loved ones.
We are also mindful of the ways that abuse of the land (logging, and a failure to reforest denuded land) exacerbate the floods, and pray for wisdom for those in leadership to tackle the pressing environmental issues.
Please also remember the work of the Deaconess Association in Indonesia, IKADIWA HKBP.