Monday, 7 June 2010

Floods Jakarta

Well it is the rainy dry season handover with everyday currently becoming a will it wont it rain day. It has rained everyday for the past 2 weeks in the part my girlfriends lives and works and where I am almost the same. It is being described as monsoon rains which I don't remember it being called last year.
It rains very heavily and then its all dry after an hour or two. Localised flooding is the order of the day, mainly due to the drains either blocked from the road, from peoples trash, the amount of rain that falls is far to big for the drains to cope with immediately and there is the chance there are no drains.
At the moment I would say it rains for approx 2 hours and then all goes. In 2 hours maybe 30 cm of rain depending on the strength of the storm. Hooray for the 13 rivers that criss cross the city as they do take all the water. For those that ride motorbikes, I am sure you will agree riding in the rain at any speed is not that bad an experience as long as your face is covered as it hurts otherwise. The roads here in the rain are beyond bad. But I think mainly because not only do they flood but the motor cyclists stop under bridges and trees to wait which slows the traffic down and riding on the left often means riding in 40cm of water and hoping the bike wont stall. I have ridden in water 60cm deep which was quite a challenge but the bike did well and was well revved through out.
The flip side of this has been some clearer and healthier clean air days (although not many) and intense heat and sunny days.
I have and I dont take any credit for these found some photos around the web on floods in the city and other parts. Just remember the floods are from rain water not burst rivers...

 Typical scene through the city, the lanes on the far left drain into the lanes where the buses on with the hope that the drains will take the water.

 Seen this, done this (although not so deep) and it is so scary

 I travel close to here quite often and it is not a nice place to be, in the rain,

 This photo is from a school in Makassar and was from the The Jakarta Post, taken recently. So don't start complaining about the schools where you come from. The students have to attend and bless them they come and still try to learn.
 This a river in Jakarta, although I suspect it has been cleaned up since this photo was taken. Still this is a common occurence when the rivers get so full and they are blocked at bridges etc. The rubbish is simply terrible. The housing over the water is mainly the toilet or shower room. Gravity flush.
If you sit and wait men come on bamboo rafts and start to take out the plastic as it is can be sold on.

You would be surprised how quick the locals are to sell you dinghys, and trips in them. I was told recently that someone paid a million to get pushed out of a flood by a gang of boys who make a lot of money in the rain!

 A train stuck in the floods. I am not 100% convinced it is a train from Jakarta or indonesia as there is no graffiti or cages overs the glass but I could be wrong.

 Just some other photos from the golden age of motoring in Jakarta. I was told this photo was taken near Glodok.
A picture from the 70s as you head out towards the city 

 Now, How things have changed. And changed so much.

But the floods remain, as I tried to explain to a great friend today, the rain sadly does not clean up the streets it just makes it muddier and dirtier. If  I have to choose then the dusty days are better I think as I dont get covered in mud and shit on the bike and a facemask helps with the air. The rains just takes the dust out of the air and puts it on the street and makes the streets dirtier!
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