History of Flood in Jakarta

Besides the 1996 incident, Jakarta is known to have faced many flood disasters in the past and still struggles with this problem in present day. There are many factors that are causing more severe damages to the landscape and infrastructure of Jakarta such as climate change, urban development and ground extraction.

Climate Change – This is an issue that is particularly affecting rainfall of Jakarta where over the years, level of precipitation has been increasing significantly. Not only are the levels of rainfall increasing, but research has been conducted where it has shown that the intensity of the rainfall has also increased. [1] This limits how much the surface area of land can absorb water which leads to swelling of rivers and eventually flooding the neighbourhood of the city.

Urban Development – There are activities involved in urban development such as increase in areas occupied by newly built structures, construction and the load of these buildings that makes a great impact on groundwater recharge. [2] This means that the ability for water on the surface to move downwards into the ground will worsen as a result of the tectonic activities that occur from the construction of buildings.

Ground Extraction – A lot of water consumption in Jakarta is done through groundwater extraction. An increase in population and economic activities will lead to an increase in daily water consumption by the citizens. [2] Therefore, when groundwater extraction is performed, this causes land subsidence to occur which is a common phenomenon in kampungs by the coast such as Kamal Muara.

Overall, to illustrate the idea of how flooding is an ongoing issue in Jakara, these images below portray the aftermath of a flood in different times periods. From these, we can understand the seriousness of the issue, in terms of how proper methods need to be executed in order to prevent the city from being exposed to devastating conditions that worsen year after year with the recent flood in 2013 and the other minour flooding incidents that happen in more rural parts of Jakarta.


(Image source: Jokowarino.id. Jakarta Flood in 1996 (Banjir jakarta tahun 1996). 1996. http://jokowarino.id/banjir-yang-sempat-tenggelamkan-jakarta-dalam-sepanjang-sejarah/)


(Image source: BBC News. People using different methods to move through water. 2002. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/1791623.stm)


(Image source: Theunis, Rudi. Jakarta Flood Feb 2007, Tanjung Duren. 2007. https://ruditheunis.photoshelter.com/image/I00007M_NOkpu0nQ)


 (Image source: Merdeka.com Roundabout Flood (Banjir bundaran). 2013. https://www.merdeka.com/peristiwa/banjir-jakarta-dari-masa-ke-masa.html)


  1. World Bank. Jakarta – Urban challenges in a changing climate (English). Washington, DC: World Bank. 2011. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/132781468039870805/pdf/650180WP0Box360ange0Jakarta0English.pd
  2. Abidin, Hasanuddin Z. & Andreas, Heri & Gumilar, Irwan & GAMAL, Mohammad. Land Subsidence and Urban Development in Jakarta (Indonesia). 2009. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/237757739_Land_Subsidence_and_Urban_Development_in_Jakarta_Indonesia

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