Flooding Leaves 5 Dead, Thousands Homeless in Indonesia

Flooding killed five people and more than 100,000 others were left homeless in the Indonesian capital, an official said Saturday as neck-high waters submerged large sections of the city.

Officials warned that worse may be on the way.

Two days of incessant rain caused rivers to burst their banks across Jakarta on Friday, inundating more than 20,000 homes, government buildings and businesses and forcing authorities to cut off electricity and water supplies.

Waters from the worst flooding to hit the city in five years had receded slightly Saturday in some city-center districts, but continued to rise in outlying areas, media reports and witnesses said.

Several main roads leading to the city of 12 million people were blocked, and the rail network was crippled. Scores of callers to local radio station el-Shinta reported they were trapped in their houses.

Sunardi, from the National Coordination Agency for Disaster Relief, said that five people had died, having been either electrocuted or drowned, since Friday. More than 106,000 people had been made homeless, said Sunardi, who goes by a single name.

The homeless were staying with family or in mosques, schools and government buildings on higher ground, officials said.

Hendri, an official monitoring water levels at sluice gates on major rivers, said rains falling in the hills south of Jakarta could result in more flooding.

"We must be on guard. The weather is still our enemy here," Hendri said. "Those who live in flood prone areas, please seek refuge."

The country's meteorology department forecast more rains Saturday and over the next two weeks.

Seasonal rains cause flooding each year in Indonesia, including the capital, but Friday's were the worst since 2002, when waters washed into the presidential palace and the lobby of a five-star hotel.