Saturday, February 03, 2007

This week Jakarta experienced disastrous flood triggered by the high intensity of rain in the city and surrounding areas. It all started with a very heavy downpour on Thursday night which caused floods in some areas of Jakarta. Next morning number of offices reported missing employees who most likely could not get through the traffic havoc caused by the flood. I was myself stuck in the traffic jam on Friday morning and could not attend several meetings. Soon after I got informed that several of my clients have executed their Business Continuity Plans (BCP) and switched to teleworking. It wasn't without problems as telecommunication networks were also affected by the flood - apparently some telecommunication firms did not plan their DRP well. Fortunately, wireless networks were working well as I was able to access my e-mail from the car using 3G service.

Looking at the horrible traffic conditions and worsening weather, I decided to get back home. Luckily, I was back home early enough to avoid major downpour that happened around noon and caused major floods in South, central and North Jakarta. The area of Kelapa Gading was isolated by flood since 2pm and only trucks could get in or out of the area. I've spoken with taxi drivers who parked on a dry piece of road in front of Gading Mediterania Residences. They all were seriously troubled with the flood, as not only they were not able to make any earnings, but also they could not get back home. Moreover, they were all surrounded by people asking for a ride just to hear that there is no way out of the area as every road out is flooded.

Most shops and restaurants in the Kelapa Gading area were flooded. Those few which were still open were all out of stock by 10pm – fortunately I bought some additional supply earlier, fearing the rain will continue.

On Friday night very heavy downpours - an I mean heavy even by Asian standards - caused even greater flood. Water raised quickly and most roads turned into rivers. On Saturday morning I walked through the flood from Kelapa Gading area to Cempaka Mas mall. There was basically only one way through a very small bridge covered with water, the other option was to rent "mini-boat" which were quickly built by locals.

Anyway, here are some photos of the flood that I took around Kelapa Gading area:

Some shots from the local news:

Kelapa Gading (left), Sunter (right) - massive traffic jam on the Priok-Cawang tollway.

Sunter flood near Menara SMR - just near the Sunter exit from Cawang-Priok tollway

Flooded train station.

In summary, more than 100.000 people had to leave their homes and electricity was cut in several districts. To make it even worse, more rain is expected on Saturday evening.

Updates: flooded jakarta at night, Sunday, evacuated, Wendesday.


Maya said...

Hi Marek, I'm glad you and your family are safe. My family is ok too. They're not in those areas directly affected. Thanks for sharing those horrible pictures, and I'm sorry that you're stuck in the midst of all that :-( Hang in there, and I hope things will dry up and clean up sooner than later...

Keep us updated on how you're doing...

Marek Bialoglowy said...

Good news! The flood is pretty much over in Kelapa Gading area and I even managed to drive back to Kelapa Gading today. Some areas are still flooded i.e. TNI housing area, but the good things is that finally regular cars can get into the area.

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