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At least 11 dead in Jakarta flooding

By Indonesia correspondent George Roberts, Friday January 18, 2013 - 17:17 EDT

Officials in Indonesia say at least 11 people have been killed in heavy flooding in the capital Jakarta.

Authorities have already declared a state of emergency as they warn monsoonal rain will worsen in the next few days.

Rivers have broken their banks, flood gates and canals and have gone over capacity and the constant downpours are causing flash floods to add to the problem.

The flooding wiped out a railway line and while work is being done to repair the damage, more water is on the way from upstream.

Yesterday the city centre flooded for the first time anyone can remember, causing chaos in Indonesia's business hub.

Two cleaners were found drowned in the basement of a shopping centre, bringing the total death toll to five, including two children.

Jakarta's government says flooding in the city is already the worst on record and the peak has not been reached yet.

Nearly 100,000 people have been affected by the flood and many residents agree the flood is bigger than any they have seen in decades.

The last big flood in 2007 left hundreds of thousands of people homeless.

"It's worse than 2007," said local Rinaldi Napitupulu, who has lived in Jakarta for 48 years.

Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono took to a rubber boat yesterday to inspect the damage.

Even his palace was not spared as rising waters inundated the central business district.


© ABC 2013

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