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Jakarta is Sinking in Slow Motion

Jakarta is sinking

The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources has stated that since 2013, Jakarta’s ground level has dropped 40 metres and the sinkage is most marked in North Jakarta.

The worst of Jakarta’s northern shore is still sinking by 12cm per year, with the added burden of construction and the natural movement of soil due to tectonic activities.

“Parts of the Jakarta basin have seen groundwater levels improve to 35 metres below sea level in 2018, compared with 40 metres below sea level five years earlier,” said Rudy Suhendar, head of the geology department at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources on Wednesday 16th October.

Extraction of groundwater in Jakarta over the years has caused layers of rock and sediment to slowly impact on top of each other, causing parts of the city to sink.

A report from Wired says that Jakarta’s problem is a chaotic jumble of buildings fighting for space amongst litter and drowning streets. Jakarta could become the first capital to be claimed by climate change if the efforts to counter the problem prove insufficient. Sea level rises, subsidence, and a lack of political action are all noted as contributing factors to the crisis.

Another big issue faced by Jakarta is the rising population which has led to piped water services only reaching 60% of the people; those in relatively wealthy areas. The other 40% can’t rely on the rivers because of illegal waste dumping.

Source: Reuters, Wired

Image: Tirto

See: First Rainfall in Months, Beware of Jakarta Flooding

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