Several dead, thousands caught in flooding in Indonesian capital

At least 23 people were confirmed dead on Thursday and thousands were forced to evacuate, after severe flooding hit Indonesia’s capital as residents were celebrating the New Year.

Tens of thousands of revellers in Jakarta were soaked by torrential rains as they waited for New Year’s eve fireworks on Wednesday.

National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Agus Wibowo said on Wednesday that monsoon rains and rising rivers submerged at least 90 neighbourhoods and triggered a landslide in Kota Depok, a city on the outskirts of Jakarta.

Wibowo said the dead included a 16-year-old high school student who was electrocuted while more than 19,000 people were in temporary shelters after floodwaters reached up to three metres (10 feet) in several places.

Al-Latif Ilyas Darmawan, the father of the victim, said the rescuers could not save his son, Arviqo Alif Ardana.

“I did not know what had happened until his younger brother came and told me that his brother had died and when I came to the scene, people said that my child was electrocuted when he was holding a lamp post and tried to be rescued by local residents (but failed and died).”

Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency, BNPB, said that at least 16 people were killed including eight in the capital, Jakarta, and three in Kota Depok.

The country’s social affairs ministry, however, said that the death toll has already gone up to 21, adding that most of the deaths were recorded in Bogor.

Two more deaths were later reported in the Lebak regency at the south end of Java island.

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