Indonesian capital braces for floods as sluice gates opened


JAKARTA (Reuters) – Torrential rain has caused floods and landslides in satellite cities around the Indonesian capital, with authorities warning that floods could hit Jakarta later on Monday after being forced to open sluice gates on a major upstream reservoir.

Dramatic TV footage showed fast-running rivers of muddy water gushing down roads, bringing down trees and even some villas in the hilly areas around Jakarta.

Authorities were forced to release water from a reservoir upstream in the city of Bogor as water levels prompted the highest alert.

The national disaster management agency said at least four landslides had left an unknown number of people missing.

“Some residents have been evacuated and the potential for rain in the greater Jakarta area remains high,” agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a statement.

A rescue team set up a line across the swollen Ciliwung river in Jakarta, Indonesia February 5, 2018 REUTERS/Darren Whiteside

He added that police and military personnel were working with volunteers to deal with the impact of the floods.

Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan warned people on Monday that flood waters could reach the capital within hours.

“I urge residents near the river…to be alert,” Baswedan told reporters.

City authorities have in the last few years sought to improve low-lying Jakarta’s vulnerability to flooding during the rainy season.

More than 50 people died in one of the capital’s deadliest floods in 2007 and five years ago much of the center of the city was innundated after canals overflowed.

Reporting by Kanupriya Kapoor and Andy Mangelsdorf; Editing by Ed Davies

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