Thursday, November 19, 2009

Is Jakarta Sinking ?

The land surface in Jakarta is sinking at a rate of 5 to 20 centimeters a year.

That was the result of study by the Indonesian Environmental Forum (WALHI), and research by Bandung Technological Institute (ITB) between the year 1982 and 1997.

Considering that 40% of the land surface in Jakarta is lower than the sea level, there is a possibility that several area including elite area like Jl. Sudirman, Jl. Kuningan, Kelapa Gading and Ancol Beach Resort will be drowned in the future.

According to WALHI's executive director Ubaidillah, the sinking land surface is caused by large scale pumping of underground water. Beside that, there are many new buildings which are not equipped with underground water reservoir. He said that until June 2009, 364 shopping centers, including 54 malls, have been constructed in Jakarta. Out of Jakarta's total area of 661 Square Kilometers, only 9.6% is allocated for green area (parks, pavements).

The Climatology, Meteorology and Geophysics Agency (BKMG) predicted that the rainy season will reach its peak on January 2009. Increasing sea level and bad drainage system will cause Jakarta to face the worst flood with a height of up to 250 centimeters.

For detailed media reports, please click here and here.

Considering that Jakarta is the capital city of Indonesia, I hope that the central government together with the provincial government of Jakarta will make very serious efforts to prevent Jakarta from sinking any further among others by improving the drainage system, stop giving building permits for new high rise buildings, impose heavy penalty on those who violates the regulation for pumping ground water.


Reporter online said...

I hope to take serious decisions by the government as it may be possible to live a critical condition, excellent post, thanks and best regards!

H. Nizam said...

Reporter Online,
Thank you for your comment.
Yes we also hope so.

colson said...

According to a recent report Jakarta is the most threatened metropolis but one to be flooded by 2050.

It strikes me that Jakarta's situation of 40% below sea level is the same percentage as in the Netherlands - which is a delta area too. I guess similar problems ( sea level rises, the bottom sinking) may require similar solutions.

I mean dikes, drainage, cleaning up canals, water boards - to mention only a few.

Anonymous said...

London is sinking too. Maybe it is capital cities that are also ports.

Jakartass said...


What the scientists are saying now, I said a couple of years ago - Japong 2107


H. Nizam said...


Yes, many scientists predicted that if no significant efforts are made by 2050 Jakarta's lowlands e.g Ancol Tanjung Priok port, etc. will be flooded. The city government is building a canal that runs through the eastern parts of the city and vicinity. But I think we should do what they did in Holland i.e. build dikes, deepening existing canals/rivers, cleaning drainage & make citizens aware about importance of maintaining cleanliness and throw garbage in their proper places.
The most important thing is to strictly enforce the laws.

H. Nizam said...

I don't think so, because most of the Netherlands is low area but Amsterdam can become one of the most important port in Europe.

H. Nizam said...

The scientists are blaming on violations of the laws & regulation especially regarding land use, garbage throwing, etc. They also blame poor law enforcement.

ambiguous_angel said...

that's not nice..
something must be done..

ame said...

OF COURSE IT WILL SINK if government not concerned about landslide, and only care about their pockets ! Did you know that pluit and other luxury area built on rain drop area?? The government allow those construction because money !

H. Nizam said...

Ambigous Angel,

Yes it's so terrifying, should be solved very soon.

H. Nizam said...


You are right my friend, if rain reservoir area like Pluit, Kapuk were not developed, the effects would not been so devastating.

BaNi MusTajaB said...

I am not convinced that Jakarta will sinking in 2050. maybe before 2050, if we do not change the paradigm of the environment.