Jakarta residents lawsuit governor over deadly disaster

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Jakarta residents lawsuit governor over deadly disaster.

When heavy rain began to pound Jakarta on New Year’s Eve, Mr Andri Purba immediately told the workers at his doughnut factory to move their equipment to higher shelves.

The April floods, which caused his factory in East Jakarta to be inundated in knee-deep water last year, were still fresh on his mind. The last thing Mr Purba wanted was for the same thing to happen when everyone was off for the New Year holiday.

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But what eventually happened was beyond his prediction. More than 12 hours of massive downpour caused the adjacent Ciliwung River to overflow, drowning the factory and some 200 houses and buildings nearby in waters as high as 2m.

“The government never gave any warning,” the 44-year-old businessman told CNA. “I was never informed that a flood would come. Neither were my neighbours.”

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Mr Purba, who claimed he suffered from property and equipment damage as well as several days of lost productivity, is one of 243 flood victims from Jakarta who launched a class action lawsuit against Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan.

The lawsuit was filed at the Central Jakarta District Court on Monday (Jan 13) and the plaintiffs were represented by a group of lawyers under the name of “2020 Jakarta Flood Victims Advocacy Team”.

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The plaintiffs, who come from all walks of life, argued that the government had failed to prevent loss of lives and property damage and was slow to rescue trapped residents.

They are seeking 42.3 billion rupiah (US$3.08 million) in compensation from the Jakarta government.

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