Category Archives: Southeast Asia – Republic of Indonesia

Flood rocks Indonesia capital, Jakarta

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Jakarta, a megalopolis that is home to around 30 million people, is frequently hit by floods in the rainy season.

Whole neighbourhoods of Indonesia’s capital Jakarta and dozens of major roads were flooded on Saturday after torrential rains pounded the Southeast Asian city overnight.

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More than 1,300 residents have been evacuated to temporary shelters, with parts of the capital under four to nine feet (1.2 to 2.7 metres) of water.

Images showed rescuers on rafts battling to evacuate the elderly and children from submerged houses in hard-hit southern and eastern areas of the city, and dozens of cars were seen submerged on waterlogged streets.

National rescue agency spokesman Yusuf Latif said the floods were triggered by extreme downpours.

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“The rainfall intensity is very high due to extreme weather in Jakarta and it’s been raining since yesterday night,” Latif told AFP.

“Our top priority is children as well as infants and the elderly.”

No casualties have been reported so far, he added.

Jakarta, a megalopolis that is home to around 30 million people, is frequently hit by floods in the rainy season.

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The city saw some of its deadliest flooding in years in January last year after downpours that also triggered landslides.

At least 67 people in Jakarta and nearby cities were killed in that disaster, with the floodwaters reaching the second floor of some buildings after rivers burst their banks.

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#Newsworthy

Indonesia volcano sprews red-hot lava.

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Nearby residents were told to avoid the area within a five-kilometre radius of the crater and were warned about the lava as well as airborne volcanic material.

Indonesia’s Mount Merapi, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, erupted on Friday, belching out fiery red lava.

The volcano, close to Indonesia’s cultural capital Yogyakarta on Java island, had already spewed lava almost two dozen times over the two last days and caused hundreds of minor volcanic quakes, according to a report by Indonesia’s geological agency.

“This morning, lava avalanches were observed seven times,” the agency said, with the lava travelling up to 700 metres to the southwest.

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However, an official warning over the status of the volcano was unchanged at its second-highest level, where it has remained since November last year.

Nearby residents were told to avoid the area within a five-kilometre radius of the crater and were warned about the lava as well as airborne volcanic material.

Last month, the volcano spewed huge clouds of smoke and ash that billowed down its sides.

Mount Merapi’s last major eruption in 2010 killed more than 300 people and forced the evacuation of around 280,000 residents from surrounding areas.

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That was its most powerful eruption since 1930 when around 1,300 people were killed, while another explosion in 1994 took about 60 lives.

The Southeast Asian archipelago nation has nearly 130 active volcanoes.

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14 missing, four dead in Indonesia landslide.

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Fatal landslides and flash floods are common across the Indonesian archipelago, where seasonal downpours are frequent and relentless.

At least four people have died and 14 are missing after a landslide caused by torrential rains swept away several homes in Indonesia, officials said Monday, with hundreds forced to flee their flooded homes.

Twenty-one people were initially reported missing, but three individuals were rescued after the disaster that struck Sunday evening in a rural part of East Java.

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Indonesia’s Search and Rescue Agency said it had found four bodies, but were still looking for 14 people reported missing.

“We cannot bring heavy equipment to the site of the landslides currently. However, we are currently trying to make our way,” the East Java Search and Rescue Agency told AFP in a written statement.

This aerial handout photo taken on February 15, 2021 and released by Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB) shows the damages from a landslide in Nganjuk, East Java province, where at least two people died and 16 others are missing. (Photo by HANDOUT / Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB) / AFP) /

The landslide also seriously damaged eight houses, said the agency.

Pasuruan, a town in the same province, was also flooded after a river overflowed due to the heavy rains, forcing more than 350 people to flee their homes, the agency added.

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Fatal landslides and flash floods are common across the Indonesian archipelago, where seasonal downpours are frequent and relentless.

In January at least 21 people died and more than 60,000 were evacuated after a series of major floods hit South Kalimantan.

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#Newsworthy

Quakes hit Indonesia’s Sumatra Island – Report.

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In 2018, a 7.5-magnitude quake and subsequent tsunami on Sulawesi island left more than 4,300 people dead or missing.

A 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Indonesia’s Sumatra Island Wednesday, the US Geological Survey said, but there was no tsunami warning or immediate reports of damage.

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The strong offshore quake hit about 217 kilometres south-southwest of the city of Bengkulu at a shallow depth of 10 kilometres at 7:52 pm local time (1252 GMT).

Shallow quakes tend to cause more damage than deep ones.

The Southeast Asian archipelago experiences frequent seismic and volcanic activity due to its position on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, where tectonic plates collide.

More than 100 people were killed when a 6.2-magnitude quake rocked the small city of Mamuju on Sulawesi island last month.

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In 2018, a 7.5-magnitude quake and subsequent tsunami on Sulawesi island left more than 4,300 people dead or missing.

A devastating 9.1-magnitude quake struck off the coast of Sumatra in 2004, triggering a tsunami that killed 220,000 throughout the region, including around 170,000 in Indonesia — one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history.

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#Newsworthy

Volcano erupts in Indonesia

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Authorities told residents to stay outside a five-kilometre no-go zone, warning about possible lava flows.

One of the world’s most active volcanoes, Indonesia’s Mount Merapi, erupted Wednesday, belching out huge clouds of smoke and ash that billowed down the sides of its rumbling crater.

The volcano, near Indonesia’s cultural capital Yogyakarta, shot hot ash into the air around three dozen times throughout the day.

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Some of it travelled as far as three kilometres (two miles) away from its peak, Indonesia’s geological agency said.

Fiery red lava has been seen flowing down the volcano in recent days, but authorities have kept its alert status at the second-highest level.

Mount Merapi’s last major eruption in 2010 killed more than 300 people, and forced the evacuation of around 280,000 residents from surrounding areas.

That was its most powerful eruption since 1930, which killed around 1,300 people, while another explosion in 1994 took about 60 lives.

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Indonesia sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, a vast zone of geological instability where the collision of tectonic plates causes frequent quakes and major volcanic activity.

The Southeast Asian archipelago nation has nearly 130 active volcanoes.

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#Newsworthy

Just in: Indonesia landslide toll jumps to 21.

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The death toll has nearly doubled from the 11 deaths reported on Sunday.

Indonesian rescuers dug through mud Wednesday as they scrambled to find survivors from weekend landslides caused by torrential rains, as the death toll rose to 21 and 19 others were listed as missing.

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A landslide struck the village of Sumedang in West Java Saturday night, followed hours later by a second that engulfed rescuers digging for survivors.

And 19 residents are still missing, including a half dozen children, but the chance of finding any of them alive was slim, said Bandung rescue agency spokeswoman Seni Wulandari.

“We are still stepping up efforts to find their bodies,” she added.

Fatal landslides and flash floods are common across the Indonesian archipelago, where seasonal downpours are frequent and relentless.

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In September last year, at least 11 people were killed in landslides on Borneo island, while a few months earlier landslides in Sulawesi killed dozens.

Indonesia’s disaster agency estimates that 125 million Indonesians — nearly half the country’s population — live in areas at risk of landslides.

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Just in: Indonesia falls into recession in two decades.

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COVID-19 have topped 420,000 and there have been more than 14,000 deaths, putting Indonesia among the worst-hit Asian countries.

Indonesia’s virus-hit economy contracted in the third quarter, plunging it into its first recession since the archipelago was mired in the Asian financial crisis more than 20 years ago.

Activity in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy slumped 3.49 percent on-year in July-September, the statistics agency said Thursday, with tourism, construction and trade among the hardest-hit sectors.

The data marked the second consecutive quarter of contraction after a 5.3 percent decline in April-June.

Indonesia last suffered a recession in 1998 and 1999 during a regional currency crisis that helped force the resignation of its long-term dictator Suharto.

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However, the depth of the current decline was easing, the agency said, adding it pointed to stronger figures in the last quarter of the year.

The economy “continues showing a contraction year-over-year but the quarter-on-quarter recovery was quite strong”, said Anwita Basu, head of Asia Country Risk at Fitch Solutions in Singapore, highlighting a gradual pickup in manufacturing.

“Some government efforts to continue with public works is reflected in that,” she added.

Indonesia’s economy was also in better shape than two decades ago, with once-troubled commercial banks now stronger and ample foreign currency reserves at the central bank, Basu said.

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Governments around the world have been struggling to contain the coronavirus, which has forced the shutdown of vast parts of the global economy.

Indonesia’s central bank cut interest rates several times this year in a bid to boost the struggling economy, while the government has unveiled more than $48 billion in stimulus to help offset the impact of the virus, which forced a large-scale shutdown that hammered growth.

Several million Indonesians have been laid off or furloughed as the vast country, home to nearly 270 million people, has battled to contain the crisis.

However, the true scale of the crisis is widely believed to be much bigger in Indonesia, which has one of the world’s lowest testing rates.

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President Joko Widodo has been widely criticised over his government’s handling of the pandemic, as it appeared to prioritise the economy.

Boosting annual growth above five percent had been a key priority for Widodo in his second term, which began late last year.

On Monday, the president signed into law a package of pro-business bills aimed at cutting red tape and drawing more foreign investment as he pushes an infrastructure-focused policy.

But the controversial legislation has sparked mass protests in cities across the nation, as activists warned it would be catastrophic for labour and environmental protections.


#Newsworthy…