Indonesia: Heavy rains have led to flash floods and landslides in and around Jakarta, the capital of the country. They have taken at least 21 lives and displaced thousands of people from their homes according to a social affairs ministry spokesperson, Joko Hariyanto. Communication lines are disturbed affecting train services and there are instances of power outages in some areas. In short, the floods have devastated the infrastructure of Jakarta.

The year-end rains inundated the city and nearby areas with a forecast of still more rain to add to the miseries of the people.

Weathermen have cautioned that extreme weather could continue until January 7 and people must be on alert to face more natural disasters like flooding or landslides. This is the age of active social media platforms and videos keep emerging of rescuers helping those in distress.

News AU quotes Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo as saying that there is a need to accord priority for the evacuation of people from danger zones. He also advised different groups of the city administration to rise to the occasion. On this occasion, he took to Twitter to explain delays in the implementation of projects related to flood control. The authorities have attributed the loss of lives to factors like drowning, electrocution, and hypothermia.

Plans to relocate Jakarta

Jakarta is located in a place that is prone to floods. It continues to feel the effects of sea-level rise on a regular basis.

The city and its surroundings support a population of more than 30 million. In 2017, it faced one of the deadliest floods that left more than 50 dead. Prior to that, large portions of the city went underwater due to the overflowing of canals.

News AU adds that the government has already announced its intention to relocate the capital to East Kalimantan province on Borneo.

Of course, the government has plans to modernize the city as well and it has earmarked funds for that. The fact remains that the capital is located in a low-lying area and is vulnerable to floods during the rainy season. Incidentally, sea-level rise is a threat to cities located in coastal areas and Jakarta could be setting a trend for relocation that others might follow for survival.

Jakarta faces a bleak future

According to the BBC, Jakarta has the distinction of being one of the fastest-sinking cities in the world. Experts say the city could disappear from the landscape and go totally underwater by 2050. The latest round of rains and floods have killed at least 21. The weathermen measured 14.8 inches of rainfall in a day at an airport in East Jakarta.

This is the most rain in a single day since 1996 as per records provided by the weather agency. The authorities evacuated more than 62,000 people and many took shelter on rooftops. The supply of electricity in certain areas is disconnected as a precautionary measure while the operation of trains is also stopped because of waterlogged tracks.