Time is running out for Jakarta.
If current rates continue, one of the fastest sinking cities on earth, environmental experts warn that one third of it could be submerged by 2050
Decades of uncontrolled and excessive depletion of groundwater reserves, rising sea-levels, and increasingly volatile weather patterns
Existing environmental measures have had little impact, so authorities are taking drastic action: the nation will have a new capital.
Its location could be announced imminently, according to local reports.
"The capital of our country will move to the island of Borneo," Indonesian leader Joko Widodo said on Twitter.
Relocating the country's administrative and political heart may be an act of national preservation, but it effectively sounds the death-knell for Jakarta where many of the city is 10 million residents have little means of escape. "When the floods came I used to tremble," food stall owner Rasdi told AFP.
Built in an earthquake zone, on swamplands, near the confluence of 13 rivers, the citys foundations have been further stressed by unchecked development, heavy traffic, and poor urban planning.
Jakarta doesn t have to piped water system in its northern reaches, so local industry and millions of residents tap into its aquifers.
This rampant groundwater extraction causes land subsidence, which is a 25-centimeter a year in some areas – double the global average for major coastal cities.
Today some parts of it sit some meters below sea level, irrevocably changing the landscape, and leaving millions vulnerable to natural disasters. Flooding is common during the wet season.
Aug 17, 2019 06:29 IST