Thousands of homes in Jakarta hit by floods

Jakarta, Feb 21 (IANS) Thousands of houses in Jakarta were inundated by floodwaters on Tuesday following torrential rains overnight, forcing hundreds of people to flee their homes, Indonesian authorities said.

Floodwaters as high as 150 cm inundated homes and roads in 54 areas across the south, east and north areas of the city, Efe news reported.

Indonesian Air Force personnel were seen helping residents in an east Jakarta neighbourhood to evacuate their homes, with hundreds forced to take shelter at a nearby mosque.

The flooding had occurred mainly due to the inability of the urban drainage system to cope with the overflowing waters, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, head of data information and public relations at the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), said.

Public transport was affected by the floods, although rail authorities said normal services would resume shortly, according to the Jakarta Post daily.