Authorities in Indonesia have raised alert levels amid fears an outbreak of disease could take hold following fresh flooding in the capital, Jakarta. More than 50,000 residents have sought treatment for conditions ranging from coughs to diarrhoea after days of floods.
Already some 340,000 people have been displaced and nearly 30 have been killed. Water in parts of the tropical city of nine million people has been up to 4 metres deep, causing blackouts, cutting telephone lines and blocking key roads. On Sunday, a key sluice gate on a canal that runs through central Jakarta was opened because of heavy run-off from upstream, increasing flooding in the city.
Seasonal downpours cause dozens of landslides and flash floods each year in Indonesia, but rarely on a scale like this. Jakarta was last severely flooded in 2002, which has caused many to question why the government has not done more to prevent flooding in the low-lying city originally built on swampland.