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Jakarta floods kill 80 people: officials

Most of the victims were washed away by flash floods, while others were electrocuted by live wires or killed by other accidents or diseases.

india Updated: Feb 10, 2007 14:26 IST

Floods which have inundated the Indonesian capital for more than a week have claimed 80 lives, officials said on Saturday in the first definitive toll.

Most of the victims were washed away by flash floods, while others were electrocuted by live wires or killed by other accidents or diseases, said Tabrani from Jakarta's crisis centre.

"The breakdown of dead victims is 48 in Jakarta, 19 in West Java and 13 in Banten province," he told a press briefing, referring to the capital and surrounding areas.

Police had earlier given the toll at around 50.

Around 500,000 people remain in temporary shelters in the capital and its satellite cities, where some areas are still knee-deep in water.

Torrential rains have stopped in Jakarta save for some scattered showers but the meteorology office is warning of more rains until the end of February.

Health officials meanwhile have urged the public to be vigilant about water-borne diseases as the flood waters recede.

One man has suffered brain damage and cannot speak after being diagnosed with leptospirosis or Weil's disease, a bacterial illness usually caught from water contaminated by rat urine.

Hygiene and clean water supplies remain a problem as people return to tidy up their sodden homes.

The Indonesian Red Cross will start distributing disinfectants and spraying neighbourhoods on Monday, while aid groups have been helping supply drinking water to some of the worst-hit areas.

Water supplies were disrupted when electricity supplies were cut for safety reasons, although the situation is slowly returning to normal.

Old Batavia, the former colonial port under Dutch rule, from where Jakarta has expanded, was built on marshland and some areas of the capital are below sea level.