Indonesia will carry out cloud seeding to try and prevent further rainfall over the capital, Jakarta, and surrounding areas the death toll reached 43 on Friday amid flash floods and landslides. With more rain forecast, two small planes were readied to drop sodium chloride to break up potential rain clouds in the skies above the Sunda Strait with a bigger plane on standby, said Indonesia’s technology agency.
At least 23 people were confirmed dead on Thursday and thousands were forced to evacuate, after severe flooding hit Indonesia’s capital as residents were celebrating the New Year. Tens of thousands of revelers in Jakarta were soaked by torrential rains as they waited for New Year’s eve fireworks on Wednesday. Jakarta’s domestic airport was also shut, where almost 20,000 passengers were stranded.
Thousands of students have taken to the streets in Indonesia to protest against a “disastrous” draft criminal code that would include outlawing extramarital sex and a controversial new law that could weaken the nation’s anti-corruption body. Among a series of contentious articles are those that would outlaw adultery, unmarried couples living together, as well as make insulting the president a criminal offense that could carry a jail sentence.
Graphic photos of the bloodied victims of what appear to be gunshot wounds have emerged after another day of violence in West Papua, which has seen at least 26 people killed and 70 injured. Four people were killed, including a military officer, and several others injured when Indonesian security forces opened fire on students following a protest about racism at a university in Jayapura on Monday.
Indonesia is set to pass a new criminal code that could outlaw living together outside marriage, extramarital sex and insulting the president, among a raft of changes that rights groups have decried as disastrous. The Indonesian parliament has spent decades revising its colonial-era criminal code, creating a 628-article draft bill that could be passed in coming days.
Indonesian police on Thursday vowed to hunt down separatists blamed for violent protests in the region of Papua, as the government partially lifted an internet blackout imposed in the easternmost area after three weeks. The region has suffered its most serious civil unrest in years since mid-August over perceived racial and ethnic discrimination. Some protesters have also demanded an independence referendum, something the government has ruled out.
Indonesia’s president says the country’s capital will move from overcrowded, sinking and polluted Jakarta to a site in sparsely populated East Kalimantan province on Borneo island, known for rainforests and orangutans. President Joko Widodo said Monday intense studies over the past three years had resulted in the choice of the location on the eastern side of Borneo island. Currently, 54% of the country’s nearly 270 million people live on Java, the country’s most densely populated area.
Power has been restored in most parts of Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, after the city of 10 million people went without electricity for more than nine hours due to technical issues, according to the state power company. Operations at Jakarta’s international airport and public hospitals remained normal, relying on back-up generators. But at train stations, hundreds of passengers were left stranded after commuter lines stopped working.
Demonstrations over the outcome of last month’s presidential election gripped the heart of Indonesia’s capital on Wednesday after an overnight face-off between police and protesters in which Jakarta’s governor said six people were killed. The riots followed an announcement on Tuesday by the General Election Commission (KPU) confirming that President Joko Widodo had beaten his challenger, former general Prabowo Subianto, in the April 17 poll. Police have arrested up to 100 people on suspicion of provoking riots.
Prabowo Subianto claimed victory for a third day in Indonesia’s presidential election, dismissing unofficial quick counts showing a win for incumbent leader Joko Widodo. Prabowo claims to have won Wednesday’s vote by polling about 62 percent based on a survey by his campaign team. Widodo, known as Jokowi, declared victory on Thursday, citing unofficial quick counts by about a dozen independent pollsters, which gave him an average 54.5 percent of the votes. Prabowo, who narrowly lost to Jokowi in 2014, has said he has evidence of massive voting irregularities.