Flood prevention systems on standby as Jakarta expects early rainy season

Flood in Kuningan, South Jakarta on Feb. 18, 2021. Photo: TMC Polda Metro Jaya
Flood in Kuningan, South Jakarta on Feb. 18, 2021. Photo: TMC Polda Metro Jaya

We’re just about to enter September, and already weather experts are urging Indonesians to prepare their umbrellas as this year’s rainy season may come early.

The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) yesterday said the majority of Indonesian regions will enter the monsoon season between September and October this year. Ordinarily, the rainy season begins towards the absolute tail end of every year.

“BMKG is warning of potential hydro-meteorological disasters, in line with the prediction that the rainy season will come earlier than usual,” BMKG chief Dwikorita Karnawati said during a press conference yesterday.

The agency is also predicting higher-than-average precipitation levels throughout the country, including on the islands of Java and Bali.

“The peak of the rainy season is predicted to fall between January and February 2022,” Dwikorita said.

With the rainy season expected to come a couple of months early, Jakarta Vice Governor Ahmad Riza Patria AKA Ariza said the administration’s flood prevention programs should suffice in ensuring the capital doesn’t drown under intense rainfall.

“We are anticipating [against flooding] with the programs that we already have, such as by utilizing infiltration wells, reservoirs, dredging rivers and canals,” Ariza said today.

Jakarta experienced its deadliest flooding in recent memory on New Year’s Eve 2020. The Greater Jakarta Area, as well as parts of Banten and West Java, saw the most intense rainfall since 2007, which continued well into New Year’s Day. According to data from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), 67 people were killed by floods and landslides while tens of thousands were evacuated from their homes.

Thankfully, the capital was spared from devastation of a similar scale during the peak of the rainy season in early 2021.

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