Indonesia better hurry up and find a new capital city before its current one sinks into the swampwater and soil.
The death toll from some of the most devastating flooding that has rocked Indonesia's capital city of Jakarta has risen to 66, with two people still missing, according to local authorities cited by CNN.
Flooding that began when Indonesia was hit by some of the most powerful monsoons the country has seen in years. Thanks to its position along the "Ring of Fire", Indonesia is regularly rocked by devastating tsunamis, earthquakes, eruptions and floods. But the flooding that kicked off the new decade forced thousands to flee their homes, or risk being trapped by landslides.
More than 173,000 residents were seeking refuge on Friday, and it's very likely that things are going to get worse before they get better. Heavy rain and thunderstorms are forecast to continue for the coming days.
As CNN pointed out, the rainfall is some of the worst Jakarta has seen this century:
The current inundation is some of the worst the Indonesian capital has seen this century. Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysical Agency measured 15 inches (38 centimeters) of rain at an East Jakarta airport on January 1, the highest flood reading since 1996, Reuters reported.
Jakarta and the surrounding area of central Java, Indonesia's largest island by population, are expected to be pummeled by up to 4 inches of rain in the next few days.
As search and rescue operations continue, the Red Cross has started spraying Jakarta with disinfectant to stop the spread of dangerous waterborne diseases. Photos from Jakarta and the surrounding area (which, with about 30 million people, is one of the world's largest cities) show people wading through chest-high water, and using inflatable rafts to navigate city streets.
Around Jakarta, rescue workers and men in orange vests clearing trash and debris could be seen.
Unfortunately, Jakarta's latest problems are just par for the course. As we pointed out last year, Jakarta is rapidly sinking into the swamp upon which it was built (the already saturated land makes it difficult for the soil to absorb rainwater, contributing to the flooding), and Indonesia is rapidly searching for a suitable location to build a new capital city.
This latest round of deadly flooding will no doubt spur the country to speed up that search.