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More than 1,000 people displaced after monsoon floods hit Indonesian capital

More than 1,000 people displaced after monsoon floods hit Indonesian capital
© Getty Images

More than 1,000 people across the Indonesian capital of Jakarta were forced to evacuate Saturday as monsoon flooding ravaged the city. 

According to Reuters, flooding caused residents in the capital, which is home to 10 million people, to walk through shoulder-high waters, with emergency personnel working to evacuate elderly residents. 

In total, about 1,380 residents were ordered to leave the southern and eastern areas of the city as floodwaters rose. 

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Indonesia’s meteorology agency, BMKG, warned that more rain could cause even worse flooding in the coming days. 

Jakarta Gov. Anies Baswedan said on local television early Saturday that roughly 200 neighborhoods in the city have been impacted by the floods, prompting the government to prepare more than two dozen evacuation centers across the city. 

“The rain has stopped, but water from other areas is still affecting Jakarta,” Baswedan added, according to Reuters. “Hopefully it won’t hit the city center and when the water recedes people can resume their activities.”

Videos and photos posted on Twitter on Saturday showed first responders attempting to guide people out of the city using rafts and life jackets as the muddy waters overtook cars and homes. 

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Reuters reported that the head of BMKG, Dwikorita Karnawati, said the city remains in its peak rainy season, which is expected to last until the end of February or early March. 

“These are critical times that we need to be aware of,” Karnawati added. 

The flooding comes as Indonesia continues to be battered by the coronavirus pandemic, reporting some of the highest number of cases and fatalities in Southeast Asia. 

As of Saturday, the country has had approximately 1.3 million coronavirus infections, with more than 34,000 deaths as a result of the virus, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.  

Jakarta Deputy Gov. Ahmad Riza Patria announced this week that coronavirus vaccines would be mandatory for all residents, with those who refuse facing fines of up to 5 million rupiah, or $450, Australia’s ABC news outlet reported. 

The order followed a similar one by Indonesia’s national government earlier this month that said those who do not get vaccinated could face fines or be denied social benefits and services from the government.