More than 100,000 people have fled their homes in Jakarta after monsoons caused rivers to overflow and flood the city more than 6 feet deep.
As many as 26 people died after 4 days of torrential downpours caused rivers to overflow and flood Jakarta. Most drowned or were electrocuted, officials said. Rescue authorities believe the flooding will leave tens of thousands people homeless.
Some 30% of Jakarta -- with a population of 14 million people -- flooded during the storm. The water reached 6.5 feet in some areas of the city Jan. 17, forcing 103,000 people into temporary shelters.
"It's O.K. if the palace is flooded. What is important is that the people are protected." President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
Businesses in Jakarta reported losing about $47 million due to flooding. By some estimates, up to 60% of Indonesia's economy is linked to activities in the capital.
There are 13 rivers running through Jakarta -- which experiences two seasons each year, dry and rainy, and is at or below sea level. Factors exacerbating the floods include garbage clogging drains, depletion of wells and deforestation in surrounding areas.
Flooding is common in the rainy season, and hundreds of thousands fled in 2007. This time, water reached record levels at sluice gates upstream from the city, the National Disaster Management Agency said. Power outages have also prevented water pumps from pushing water out of homes and streets.
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