Bloomberg News

Jakarta Brought to Standstill by Rains That Stop Traffic, Trains

February 06, 2013

Jakarta commuters trying to get home from work were delayed for hours today after heavy rains inundated the Indonesian capital’s roads and railways, bringing vehicle traffic and trains to a halt.

“Heavy rainfall on Wednesday since 4 p.m. caused several spots to be inundated,” Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman at the country’s disaster management agency, said in a mobile-phone text message. “All this water can’t immediately flow into the drainage because of its limited capacity.”

Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo, elected in September, is facing infrastructure challenges after floods in Indonesia’s biggest city claimed at least 20 lives in January and more than 18,000 residents were evacuated from their homes.

The inundation brings to the fore infrastructure failings in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy as the government struggles to meet spending targets for projects and reduce bottlenecks restraining growth. The lessons of inadequate protection against natural disasters were seen with Thai floods in 2011 that disrupted transportation and shut factories, hurting industrial output and putting pressure on prices.

Indonesia’s capital contributed about 16 percent of the country’s economic output in the third quarter last year, according to figures on the website of the National Bureau of Statistics.

To contact the reporters on this story: Berni Moestafa in Jakarta at bmoestafa@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Greg Ahlstrand at gahlstrand@bloomberg.ney


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