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Flood death toll rises in Indonesia with more extreme weather expected

Now the region is bracing for more with the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysical Agency (BMKG) forecasting extreme weather, including heavy rainfall with lightning and strong winds for the coming week.

Severe flooding hit Indonesia's capital as residents were celebrating New Year's Eve. More extreme weather is forecast.

Severe flooding hit Indonesia’s capital as residents were celebrating New Year’s Eve. More extreme weather is forecast.Credit:AP

The agency said the extreme conditions were triggered by an active Asian monsoon which caused an increase in wet air mass supply in Indonesia, combined with slower wind speeds and warmer sea surface temperatures that increased the supply of vapour to form rain clouds.

Areas likely to experience the conditions include Jakarta, Central, East and West Java, all Sulawesi provinces, Papua and West Papua.

It urged the public to be careful and remain vigilant of the impacts of landslides, floods, falling trees and slippery streets.

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Agus Wibowo spokesperson for the disaster management agency BNPB said the deaths included eight people in Jakarta, as well as an eight-year-old boy who was buried by a landslide in Depok. Several people died of electrocution, others died of hypothermia.

Jakarta and its surroundings are home to more than 30 million people. More than 50 people died in one of the capital’s deadliest floods in 2007 and five years ago much of the centre of the city was inundated after canals overflowed.

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

President Joko Widodo said that the handling of the crisis must be done jointly by the central provincial, district and city governments.

However, he said the main focus was the evacuation of victims. After that, the government would discuss efforts to deal with flooding in terms of infrastructure.

“Public safety must take precedence,” he said.

– with Amilia Rosa

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