Floods in Indonesia leave two dozen dead, several missing: official

JAKARTA: Indonesia The disaster agency warned Thursday of more deaths after heavy rains Jakarta region, causing floods and landslides that killed at least 23 and left vast swathes of the megapolis under water.

Tens of thousands of residents have been evacuated to temporary shelters in the area, home to some 30 million, with tens of damaged homes.

Images from across the region showed houses flooded with water and cars covered in muddy floods, while some people began rowing in small rubber lifeboats or tire chambers to move around.

At least 21 people died in greater Jakarta , while two more were killed by flash floods in neighbouring Lebak regency at the south end of island.

The latest figure is 21 dead, Social Affairs Minister Juliari Peter Batubara told reporters on Thursday.

We hope that the figure does not continue to rise, he added.

In Lebak, the local disaster agency said it had confirmed the deaths of two residents and was investigating reports that three more people died.

Police in Lebak said they were looking for up to eight people who could still be missing from the area.

Around Jakarta , an eight-year-old boy killed in a landslide and an 82-year-old pensioner were among the confirmed victims.

The dead died from drowning, hypothermia and being covered by landslides, while a 16-year-old boy was electrocuted by a power line.

"The floods hit without warning," Munarsih, who goes by one name, said from her waterlogged neighbourhood in Jakarta 's western outskirts where dozens of local families fled to safety.

The water arrived very fast and rose quickly. We couldn't get our things, including my car, he added.

On Wednesday, electricity was switched off in many Jakarta districts to prevent more electrocutions, with some train lines and one of the city's airports also shut.

The torrential downpour caused landslides on the outskirts of the city.

The disaster marked Jakarta 's worst flooding since 2013 when dozens were killed after the city was inundated by rains.

The city is regularly hit by floods during Indonesia's rainy season, which started in late November.

Authorities said Thursday that some 31,000 people had been evacuated, but that figure did not include residents in Jakarta 's satellite cities.

The service, which operates commercial and military aircraft, was temporarily closed due to severe flooding in its runways, according to the ministry of transport. It was reopened on Thursday.

Some flights were transferred to Jakarta 's main Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.