Fatal Flooding Kills Four In Indonesia

Category: World / Jan 17, 2013 10:34AM EDT
Heavy monsoon rains triggered flooding in the Indonesian capital Jakarta on Thursday (January 17), killing four and bringing the city to a halt. In the center of Jakarta where streets are jammed at the best of times, long lines of idled cars waited for waist-deep water to recede. Inflatable dinghies provided by emergency services ferried people to safety across water dividing the heart of the city. At least 20,000 people were forced from their homes in the capital and weather officials warned the rain could get worse over the next few days. Four people were reported to have been killed, according to the National Disaster Prevention Agency, which urged residents to stay at home to reduce traffic congestion on blocked roads. Torrential rain was reported across much of the country, including the main island of Java and heavily agricultural area of southern Sumatra. This year's monsoon season has brought some of the heaviest downpours for five years. However, officials said there had been no reports of any serious damage to key crops such as rice, sugar and palm oil.