With the rainy season in full swing across the country, officials in Jakarta have unveiled an early warning system to anticipate the heavy flooding from runoff further inland.
Tarjuki, head of water resources maintenance at the Jakarta Public Works Office, said on Sunday that the warning system would be based on reports from the Katulampa floodgate in the highlands of Bogor, West Java.
“The water that builds up in Katulampa reaches Jakarta about 12 hours later, so we need to inform the subdistrict heads and urban ward heads [along the banks of the Ciliwung River in Jakarta] about the potential for a flood,” he said.
He added information about the water level at the floodgate would also be shared with the provincial disaster management coordinating body, which can then decide whether to set up evacuation camps and distribute rescue equipment.
Tarjuki said the warning system worked on a series of four progressively urgent alert levels.
A level-four alert, the lowest one, will be issued when the water level at the Katulampa floodgate reaches 80 centimeters.
Level three goes from 80 to 150 centimeters, while level two goes from 150 to 200 centimeters. Level one applies for a water level of more than 200 centimeters.
Hadi, an official at the Katulampa floodgate, said that on Friday evening, the water level there reached 130 centimeters, corresponding to a level-three alert.
On Saturday morning, as expected, the Ciliwung burst its banks in parts of the capital, including Bukit Duri in South Jakarta. By Sunday, the water level in Katulampa had subsided.
“It began raining on Sunday afternoon in Bogor, but then it slowed to a drizzle and the water level at the floodgate dropped to 40 centimeters, which is normal,” Hadi told the Jakarta Globe.
He added officials at Katulampa were monitoring the floodgate around the clock and streaming the information to officials in Jakarta.