Jakarta Underwater, Flood in Most Area of Jakarta

Two weeks ago, almost all area in Jakarta was flooded. The flood was started on Friday, 2nd of February 2007 after heavy rain for three days every night. I know this blog post is kind of too late, but I was very busy in this two weeks working on a web project for a client from Australia and also I had a trip to Bangka Belitung, I’ll tell you about my trip to Bangka Belitung later on another post.

It was a sudden disaster that Jakarta was flooded, although it’s predictable that Jakarta is always had a flood annually but nobody think that the flood was very bad. Almost all area in Jakarta is covered by water, from 20 cm up to 3 meters! Thousand of houses were gone in the water, you can only see the roof. This means thousand of people suddenly homeless.

I was lucky that my boarding house was not flooded, but on 4 February I must attend to my sister’s wedding party that held in Jogjakarta. I already bought the ticket one week before and never know that Jakarta will be flooded. I get worried that I can’t go to the airport on Saturday, 3 February.

Anticipating the possibility of traffic jams, flood, and unavailability of public transportation I decided to go to the airport very early at 10 in the morning, although my flight schedule was at 14.00.

It was very difficult to get a taxi, even Blue Bird doesn’t want to send a taxi when I call them. They also said that the toll street was flooded and only bus can pass it. I then call my brother to ask for suggestion from him as I have no idea of how I can get to the airport. My brother suggests me to go to Gambir terminal by busway and from there I can take a bus that goes to the airport.

I ask my office colleague, Mario to take me to the nearest busway stop by motorcycle. He was a victim of the flood too because his boarding house and the way to his boarding house was flooded, so he stay in the office. What a bad day, the street that I want to pass so I can get to the busway stop was also flooded, so I can’t get into the busway stop. Later on I found out that the busway wasn’t operating after all, so even I can get into the busway stop, there is no bus.

I got a little luck on the way back to the office as there was a taxi passing by. I stop the taxi and ask the driver whether he can take me to the airport or not. Luckily he was a nice person and willingly helps me to go to the airport.

I found no problem on the way from the location I stop the taxi until the toll way to the airport. Starting on the middle of the toll way, the street was flooded around 30 cm deep which make me feared that the taxi engine will be stop because water go through the engine. Well I guess I ride an amphibian taxi :)) as the taxi managed to pass the flood although I already hear the splash of water under my foot and every time there was a wave that caused by cars or trucks from other direction passing by, I can feel that the taxi is moving! Just like a boat!

I’m very thankful to the taxi driver as he doesn’t abandon me in front of the toll gate like the other taxi driver abandon their passengers and suggest them to continue by using a truck that – I think – is provided by the army.

Thanks to God that I can arrive to the airport. The flight schedule was delayed for one hour, but it’s ok. I arrived in Jogjakarta safely. It was raining too in Jogjakarta when I arrived but no flood :D

On 5 February, I return to Jakarta. This time I use the airport bus, so no worry about engine stall because of flood. On the way to exit the toll, I saw a truck that was collapsed. I think the driver of that truck is trying to pass the water although the flood is very deep.

After two weeks since the flood started, Jakartan is now started to clean up the mess caused by the flood. So many mud, trees, garbage, etc. that need to be cleaned. I hope there is no flood again in near future in Jakarta although it can be sure that next year Jakarta will be flooded again :( the government need to start thinking on how to anticipate flood in Jakarta as it become regular disaster.

Markus

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