Indonesian Capital Suffers Greatly from Flood
By W.C.

February 4, 2007
There is so much happening in the world constantly. The media is always swarming news everywhere we go. I often feel overwhelmed with what to pay attention to and what to spend time on understanding. Most of the time I give up and stop listening to the news because of the depressing information it brings. I recently changed this habit and thought how unwise of a decision I was making. I realized that if I’m so easily being depressed by the news, think of how unbelievably saddening the person who the news is about would actually be feeling. Recently, I came across this issue involving a few floods in Jakarta which affected many people. Instead of ignoring this issue, like I previously did, I can help with the issue by talking about what happened and basically spreading awareness.

On the fourth of February a few devastating floods hit Jakarta, the Indonesian capital. Usually when we hear about floods, I think of a small one causing the basement of my house to flood with water. However, these floods caused monstrosity to over 340,000 people in Jakarta causing their homes to be drenched in 10ft of water, leaving them homeless and without shelter. Losing your home is an inconceivable loss. Everything you have worked for and earned would vanish in a matter of seconds because of a flood. These floods also came with a heavier price, causing the death of 20 people. Many businesses were also lost in deep water. It is said that these floods are the worst to hit Jakarta in five years. To make matters even worse, the heavy rain will continue for a week causing the threat of more flooding in the southern region of the city.

These Indonesian people are obviously suffering from a heavy loss right now. These floods cause more and more problems after another. The people who are left without homes are in need of help but the water from the flood has cut clean water supplies and communications to parts of the city. The city is left to result in helicopter and boat rescue. But how much can that help? It will take a lot of time, and people need immediate help as well. Along with the 340,000 people who are left homeless, 670,000 people are left without electricity supply. Now how will those people contact for help? It is hard to say that things will get better from here because the flooding will continue and the death toll will rise. Living here and knowing that things will get worse with the chance of death gives me tremors. These people are running out of places to shelter. Some people are remaining to shelter in their flood ridden homes refusing to give up, and accepting that their home has become useless now that it is drenched in water. In addition, some of the other people are sheltering in mosques and schools, places where water has also flooded.

A lot of the responsibility for the floods can be blamed on poor urban planning because the cities drainage systems weren’t even taken care of.

Let the words of these people affected, speak for themselves:

“Houses around my area (Cilandak) have been totally washed out and houses are flooded with up to three metres of water. All the furniture and items have been destroyed leaving thousands of people homeless. After living here for 12 years, I have never seen the floods as bad as this.” Melissa Whyte, Jakarta

“Having cycled around the city and seen the flooding first hand, the biggest concern is the fact that there are hundreds of children playing in the flood water. Roads are closed, telecommunications are affected and office workers are unable to get to their places of work. With further flooding expected, the emergency services in Jakarta need to be on high alert.” Phil Demack, Jakarta, Indonesia

These people are in desperate need of help and these floods are causing numerous problems. Everyday is becoming more painstaking and stressful for these people. I can’t make this problem go away by tomorrow, or even make it go away completely, but at least now I am aware of what has happened to Jakarta. I am also aware about the struggles that the Indonesian people of Jakarta are facing, and how much toll the floods have taken on their lives. I can now look back at the news and realize that now I understand what happened instead of ignoring it and remaining clueless. Being aware of what is happening around the world is a very powerful step in one day, making these issues disappear.


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