02/05/2007, 00.00
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Jakarta floods: 25 dead and more than 340,000 displaced

More than 75% of the capital is flooded by three metres of water. The government has declared a state of natural disaster and has deployed another 12,600 men to help residents.

Jakarta (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Twenty-five people have been confirmed killed and more than 340,000 displaced by floods caused by strong rains that struck the Indonesian capital in recent days.

Local sources confirmed that at least 75% of Jakarta was submerged by water. Anwar Arifin of the Indonesian capital’s flood information centre, said: “This is not just a flood. Several residential and commercial neighbourhoods are flooded by three metres of water and there is no way of draining it for the moment.”

The Indonesian Health Ministry said more than 360,000 people were displaced if one took into account residents escaping from the outlying cities of Tanggerang and Bekasi. An official said the people “were escaping in any way they could, in rubber dinghies, inflatable children’s swimming pools, or simply by swimming, waiting to be rescued.”

Emergency alert levels remain high. The authorities have ordered the deployment of another 12,600 people including security personnel and rescue volunteers apart from emergency services staff who are trying to find missing people and supply first aid items. A state of natural disaster remains in force.

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