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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     2 November  2011

Flooding hits Jakarta

Torrential rains hit the southern parts of Greater Jakarta on Monday, causing the Krukut River to overflow and inundate hundreds of houses in Pondok Labu, with flood waters up to two meters deep in some areas. More than 1,200 residents were evacuated.

BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said Tuesday that more floods are anticipated in the area because Pondok Labu is not only affected by heavy rainfall and poor drainage, but also by the reduced capacity of the Krukut River.

“Initially, the river was 6 meters wide but now is only 2 meters wide in some areas. Due to sedimentation, the narrowing of the river and the use of land along the riverbanks, the river’s flow capacity is only 30 percent of the anticipated flood rate. So floods are inevitable,” Sutopo said in a statement..

To resolve the issue, a Krukut River restoration program needs to be implemented as soon as possible in the hopes that the river’s capacity can be returned to normal, he said.

“What is important is to make the river wider again to increase its capacity.”

Coordinating Public Welfare Minister Agung Laksono and Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo visited the inundated areas of Pondok Labu on Monday and vowed that the government would try its best to prevent further flooding.

“The governor and I did not only come here just to see the conditions, but to think about possible solutions,” Agung said.

Agung acknowledged that the narrowing of the Krukut River was the main cause of the flooding. Thus, Agung said that the government should build a dam as soon as possible.

Fauzi said that the Jakarta administration had prepared 9,000 square meters of land near the river for construction of the dam, but still needed another 1.6 hectares.

Heavy downpours in Bogor caused water levels at the Katulampa sluice gate to exceed normal levels on Tuesday morning.

An officer at the gate, Andi Sudirman, reported that the water levels had risen from 40 centimeters at 3:30 a.m. to 80 centimeters at 6:10 a.m. and 100 centimeters by 6:20 a.m.

However, the level receded to 90 centimeters by 8 a.m. and 70 by 9 a.m., Andi said.

As of 1 p.m. the water level was still at 50 centimeters, far lower from the alert-III level standard of between 80 and 150 centimeters.

Andi advised residents living on the banks of Ciliwung River in Jakarta, however, to remain on alert as water from Bogor can reach Jakarta within 12 hours.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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