Jakarta (ANTARA) - House of Representatives' (DPR) Speaker Puan Maharani called on the government to conduct a comprehensive emergency response operation to handle the impacts of flash floods in Jakarta and its greater areas.

Maharani expressed deep condolences to the families of those killed in this week's flash floods. "In every catastrophe, rescuing the victims should remain our priority," she noted in a press statement made available to ANTARA in Jakarta on Thursday.

To this end, Maharani highlighted the need to prioritize the rescue and evacuation of those trapped in risky places, adding that the emergency response operations should be conducted comprehensively in all affected areas.

The comprehensive operations encompass rescuing the victims, building temporary shelters and public kitchens, securing displaced people's houses and properties, and adopting precautionary and preventive measures to deal with flood-related diseases, she remarked.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) and all related ministries and government agencies were also called on to make utmost efforts to help those in need and restore the affected areas at the earliest, she noted.

The House appealed to all related parties to work synergistically to appropriately handle the impact of flooding, and those involved in these collaborative endeavors should give top priority to the public’s interests, she explained.

Heavy and incessant rains lashed several parts of the provinces of West Java, Jakarta, and Banten over the past 48 hours, causing flash floods to inundate various areas in the capital city in its greater areas, including Bekasi.

Consequently, the Halim Perdanakusuma Airport was temporarily closed on Wednesday, as its runway got flooded. All flight activities were diverted to the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Cengkareng, Banten Province.

According to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), 16 people lost their lives owing to floods inundating several areas in Jakarta, Bekasi, Depok, Bogor City, Bogor District, Tangerang City, and South Tangerang District.

Eight of them were Jakarta's residents -- M. Ali (82), Siti Hawa (72), Willi Surahman, Sutarmi (73), Agus (19), Sanusi, Arfiqo Alif (16), and Yuda Irawan (29). Among them were those who died of drowning and electric shock.

Hidayat Nur Wahid, currently deputy speaker of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR), stated that this natural disaster can become a momentum to fortify unity and solidarity among residents.

Wahid conveyed the message during a visit to a search and rescue command post for the flood-affected residents at a Kemang Raya neighborhood in South Jakarta to hand over several hundred breakfast boxes to those in need on Thursday.
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Translator: Imam B, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto
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