Flooding in and around Jakarta has severely affected an estimated 130,000 people this week, with 63,000 people having to be evacuated. More rain is forecast for the next seven days and waters are expected to rise as flood waters from surrounding areas drain through the capital.
Flooding is common in Jakarta. The megacity of 10 million inhabitants is subject to flood waters that destroy infrastructure and stall the country's trillion-dollar economy on an almost annual basis.
However, this year the flooding could become an issue in the presidential election set for 9 July. Some commentators believe it will be a litmus test for the Jakarta Governor and presidential hopeful, Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo. Jokowi is currently a front runner in the polls.
Last year flooding caused more than half a billion dollars in damages. A spokesperson for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency said on Tuesday that the displaced were lacking food, clean water and sanitary toilets. The number of displaced in the capital jumped from 30,000 to 63,000 on Wednesday.
If waters continue to rise, the capital could be severely affected. This would have a negative impact on the economy and also on Jokowi's election potential. Although, for the average Jakarta resident, it may not be a bad thing if there was renewed pressure on politicians to install measures to protect the city from flooding.
Image courtesy of Reuters/Supri.