Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Living isolated in Kelapa Gading has become unbearable, thus yesterday I moved out of the area. My evacuation vehicle was a Teh Botol SOSRO truck. More than 10 trucks from SOSRO were picking up people all around Kelapa Gading area and transporting to safe location. I'm not sure if SOSRO knows about it, I've tried to ask but they web-site is not updated since 2001, all contact details are wrong and I can't get their phone number.

SOSRO truck - evacuation vehicle

Several things surprised me over past few days:

1. I've found this on The Jakarta Post web-site "Less rain will be fall in all municipalities in the capital. If the rains fall, it will not be so heavy. Heavy rains may occur in Puncak, Bogor".

Oh, that's very interesting what Indonesian Meteorology and Geophysics Agency (BMG) says, because it was raining like crazy in Jakarta last night. Has BMG prognosis been correct at least once? I've also tried to use their RSS data feed but it never worked, their server was down like half of the time. I start to be more curious about this agency.

2. Thuggery. Well, I had to pay to cross the only path across the river. Few thugs controling the path ensured that those who could not pay had to go thorugh shoulder deep stinky water. The SOSRO truck drivers have also told us that some areas of Kelapa Gading were controled by criminals who stopped their trucks and demanded money.

3. Attitude of some people. The SOSRO drivers were very helpful, didn't ask any money and took something like 30 people out of the area on the same truck. Many of those people had cars waiting for them around Arion mal. When we arrived, truck driver stopped near a gas station (around Superindo mal) and informed everyone that he needs to buy gasoline to get back for more people. He asked for any contribution. Now guess how many people contributed? Just me and my wife. All the other people on the truck just left without even saying thank you! I could not believe my eyes. Note: Most of those people were not poor. They were shooting pictures with fancy digital cameras all over the truck like they were on some safari or something.

4. Profesional building management. I'm very surprised how Gading Mediterania Residences building management handled the disaster. They were truly prepared. They had enough gasoline to run power generators for a few days, organised well managed flood refugees centre servicing neighbour areas. Clean water was available at all time and the place was well secured. I must say I'm impressed. Great job guys!

I'll try to post some updates when I get back to Kelapa Gading. However, I'm not sure when as it looks like the current condition is not getting better.

By the way finally I understand why so many villas in neighbour areas like to use Venice/Greek a like motives:

Water is a perfect match, isn't it?

PS: Lots of people have sent me e-mails asking about safety of travel to Jakarta, thus let me answer. It is safe to travel to Jakarta, you can get from the airport to main business district, but before you come here please make sure that you have a hotel room booked. Most hotels are at almost full occupancy rate, thus it could be a problem to get a room without prior booking.

Flood related posts by other bloggers: bricolage, Jakartass (aftermath), Unspun.


thalia said...

hi Marek, i just started to read your blog and would like to thank you for all these posts about the flood. good luck with the evacuation. hopefully the water level will go down soon and you guys can go back to where you live.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your regular update. It is so helpful for all of us in Los Angeles, California with family members in Kelapa Gading. Please keep up your amazing job and take care.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your wonderful blog. Shame on those people who would not contribute gas money to the truck driver. These type of selfish attitude that partly contributes to the disaster. Can we learn any lessons at all from this?

Marek Bialoglowy said...

Well, I look at it bit different way. It's great that we have such truck drivers who are willing to help people even when they don't even appreciate their help and all their efforts. I believe those truck drivers would probably perfer to stay at home drinking hot tea rather than driving with their trucks all over the flooded stinky area. I think disaster like this everywhere shows best and the worst in people.

rd said...

To tell you the truth, I'm happy with your realistic and pretty positive postings.. especially on "yes it is safe to travel to Jakarta"..

Good stuff!

andri said...

hi Marek, hopefully you are still OK now.I also agree that this disaster can show us who real friends are, and I believe there are still a lot of good people out there...

Batata said...

What an experience. Yes, you can see people's true color in emergency situation.

anyway, stay save, as the rain started pouring again today, and hope you are well.

Anonymous said...

Hi Marek!!! I love to read your Blog!! Very Informative!!!
About the evacuation By SOSRO Truck, I hate to saying this… but in my opinion about those Rich People are… So UNGRATEFUL and SELFISH …!!!
TQ - Rgds, Sisca

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