|11 dead, president’s residence flooded, and embassies shut in underwater capital Jakarta
Massive floods in Indonesia's capital Jakarta have left at least 11 people dead, authorities said as murky brown waters submerged parts of the city's business district, causing chaos for a second day.
Even the presidential palace was inundated by floods. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was pictured in the grounds yesterday in rolled-up trousers.
The capital's worst floods in five years have also forced 18,000 people from their homes, the disaster agency said, AFP reports.The agency said floods have been occurring since Tuesday. Among the dead were two children aged two and 13.
A city-wide state of emergency will apply until January 27.
The flooding caused chaos in Jakarta's upmarket downtown district, causing hours-long traffic jams as motorists struggled along canal-like streets.
At the landmark Hotel Indonesia traffic circle, surrounded by office towers, five-star hotels and shopping centres, the brown floodwaters continued to swirl, forcing the nearby British, German and French embassies to remain shut.
The central business district normally escapes damage in the Indonesia's monsoonal rains but it was hit by waist-high water yesterday, forcing some commuters to wade their way to work holding bags aloft.
Jakarta, home to 20 million people, is notorious for its traffic-clogged streets, but the floods brought a new dimension to the commute.
Many train and bus routes serving the city center were also suspended.
The floods were the worst to hit the capital since 2007, when about 50 people were killed and more than 300,000 were displaced.