Last updated February 25, 2020

Jakarta hit by serious flooding for second time this year

Climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme rainfall

Climate Signals Summary: Climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme rainfall events, and these events often lead to severe flooding

Article Excerpt:  Torrential rain flooded Indonesia’s overpopulated capital on Tuesday for the second time this year, paralyzing wide areas and prompting rescue workers to evacuate people by boat from murky, brown waterways.

Jakarta was hit by some of the heaviest rain since records began at the beginning of the year, causing floods that killed more than 60 people and displaced about 175,000. Several other minor floods have hit different parts of the city since.

Indonesia’s weather agency linked the rains to tropical cyclones, but the agency head also said such extreme weather events were happening with greater intensity and more frequently.

Jakarta and surrounding areas are home to more than 30 million people and extremely vulnerable to flooding. Parts of the city are below sea level and uncontrolled population growth has exacerbated the problem.


Dwikorita Karnawati, head of Indonesia’s weather agency, said data showed extreme rain events occurring with rising intensity in the past 30 years and with a higher frequency in the past 10 years.

“This needs to be monitored and managed because it is an indicator of global climate change that has a local impact,” she said.

Nana Setiawan, a 50-year old resident of East Jakarta, said his house has been hit by floods four times this year.

“I moved here three years ago, and as far as I know, normally the floods will only happen once a year or even once in five years. But this year it’s already been four times and today is the worst,” he told Reuters.