At least nine people have died as a series of flooding and landslide events hit Jakarta and West Java over the New Year period. Alvico Arif Ardana, 16, died after being electrocuted during a flood in the Kemayoran District of Jakarta on Wednesday 1 January 2020, while in the Cipinang Melayu District three people died of hypothermia after being caught in floods, all are believed to have been elderly. In the city of Depok in West Java four people, including an eight year old child, died in a landslide brought on by heavy rains. Landslides are a common problem after severe weather events, as excess pore water pressure can overcome cohesion in soil and sediments, allowing them to flow like liquids. Approximately 90% of all landslides are caused by heavy rainfall. One person is reported to have died in a flash flood in the city of Bogor, also in West Java. As well as the known fatalities around 19 000 people have been forced to flee homes in the Jakarta area due to flooding.
Flooding in Jakarta on 1 January 2020. AP.
Diagrammatic representation of wind and rainfall patterns in a tropical monsoon climate. Geosciences/University of Arizona.
Java has two distinct Monsoon Seasons, with a Northeast Monsoon driven by winds from the South China Sea that lasts from November to February and a Southwest Monsoon driven by winds from the southern Indian Ocean from March to October. Such a double Monsoon Season is common close to the equator, where the Sun is highest overhead around the equinoxes and lowest on the horizons around the solstices, making the solstices the coolest part of the year and the equinoxes the hottest.
The winds that drive the Northeast and Southwest Monsoons in Southeast Asia. Mynewshub.
Jakarta has become increasingly prone to flooding in recent years, as it is slowly sinking below sealevel. This is largely due to the high rates of water extraction from aquifers beneath the city, to supply water to its 9.6 million residents, which has caused the water-holding sediment layers to deflate, lowering the ground level. In April 2019 the Indonesian Government announced that it planned to move the country's capitol to another location, probably a custom-built city on Borneo, due to concerns about the long-term habitability of Jakarta, which is threatened both by subsidence and rising sea levels associated with global warming, as well as pollution and overcrowding caused by the rapid rate at which the city has expanded.
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