Floods Cripple Indonesian Capital, 2 Dead

Posted January 17th, 2013 at 2:05 am (UTC-5)
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Much of the Indonesian capital is under waist-high water, after several days of unusually heavy monsoon rains caused floods that forced thousands to seek shelter.

Rising flood waters in Jakarta forced many government offices and businesses to close Thursday, and many roads were unpassable in the low-lying, flood-prone city of 14 million.

Forecasters warn the rain could get worse in the coming days, adding to what already has been one of the city's heaviest downpours in years.

On Thursday, authorities said water levels at key flood gates in the city already were dangerously high, and they warned the floods could spread to other areas.

At least two people have been killed and 9,000 people have been evacuated from the capital and its suburbs.

Seasonal downpours cause dozens of landslides and flash floods each year in Indonesia, a vast chain of 17,000 islands where millions of people live in mountainous areas or near fertile flood plains.