As Australia burns, biblical flood hits city bigger than London – Kenny MacAskill

A woman wades through floodwater in Jakarta, Indonesia, where dozens of people have died. (Picture: Dita Alangkara/AP)
A woman wades through floodwater in Jakarta, Indonesia, where dozens of people have died. (Picture: Dita Alangkara/AP)
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Indonesia’s capital Jakarta is sinking as sea levels rise, meaning the millions of people who live there will have to move and underlining the pressing need to take action to stop climate change, writes Kenny MacAskill.

Media attention has been on Australia where the fires are almost primordial and frightening. But climate change is playing out elsewhere with even more devastating effect. It’s almost biblical in proportions as fire and flood threaten humanity.

In Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, 66 have died so far and more than 173,000 have been displaced. Without diminishing the tragedy afflicting our Commonwealth cousins, this is even worse. They’re not burning but drowning. Torrential rain – that Australia prays for – is washing them away.

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Fifteen inches apparently fell on New Year’s Day, some welcome to 2020. A further four inches is anticipated in the next few days.

It’s not just Jakarta that’s affected but, given that its metropolitan area covers 30 million people, that’s bad enough. Bekasi, a city I’d never heard of, has seen 150,000 poor souls displaced. I’ve no doubt the tempest will abate but the problem is only going to get worse.

Jakarta is sinking and will succumb to rising sea levels. Plans are being made to relocate it elsewhere but what about its citizens, especially those who are poor and vulnerable Where will they go? What about other communities as it won’t be the only place to go under. Where can they go? Whole countries, whether in the Pacific or the Asian sub-continent, are threatened by rising sea levels caused by climate change.

We need to change and change fast or future generations will face the apocalypse and sooner than we think.