A man rides his bicycle through a flooded street as he
heads to work in the business district in Jakarta
Severe floods have eased in Jakarta, a day after
unusually heavy monsoon rains swamped parts of the Indonesian
capital in waist-deep water and left more than 18,000 people
However, authorities warned of more rain and disruptions in
the city of about 10 million people after Thursday's floods
killed six people and turned Jakarta's main thoroughfare into
a stream of red mud.
Other main roads were still full of water and choked with
traffic on Friday as commuters struggled to return to work
and emergency workers tried to clear the mess.
"Many roads will remain flooded for the next two or three
days," police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar said. "Jakarta
experienced quite a severe impact because 13 rivers flow into
it from the south and west."
Large areas of the city were still without electricity after
state utility PLN cut power in some places to avoid the risk
Investors however shrugged off the disruption, pushing the
Jakarta stock index up 1 percent to a record high.
The central bank said it saw the weather causing disruption
to food distribution, which was likely to push up inflation
this month. Torrential rain across the main island of Java
has not damaged key crops such as rice and palm oil,
The state palace was inundated and a $700,000 Rolls-Royce was
among scores of cars swallowed by the floodwaters on
Thursday, witnesses said. Many businesses remained closed.
Soldiers using an excavator struggled to stem the flow after
a large section of a canal burst, sending a torrent of dirty
water into the heart of the capital. Debris including sofas
and dead fish littered the soggy streets and police captured
a 3-metre python in the city, wrestling it into a van.
Many parts of Indonesia are regularly inundated during the
annual rainy season, bringing already strained transport
systems to a halt, although this flood was the worst the
capital had suffered since 2007. Jakarta mayor Joko Widowo
has declared a 10-day state of emergency.
Widodo, elected last year, is under pressure to improve
drainage to prevent regular flooding in the low-lying
capital, and to fix Jakarta's notoriously bad traffic. Plans
are under way for new toll roads, bus lanes and a metro