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Flood Toll Rises, and Indonesia Braces for Disease

Much of this capital city was underwater on Tuesday, and the authorities warned of the possible spread of disease after torrential rains, overflowing //rivers and clogged sewers brought widespread flooding over the weekend.

At least 29 people were reported to have died from drowning, electrocution or disease. An estimated 340,000 people were driven from their homes, and hundreds of thousands remained without electricity or clean water in the worst flooding in Jakarta in years.

The skies cleared Monday, but meteorologists said more rain was possible in the days ahead, along with renewed flooding if rivers burst over their banks again.

Across lower-lying parts of Jakarta that are populated mostly by the poor, water that had risen as high as 12 feet still engulfed entire houses.

Officials estimated that 40 percent to 70 percent of this city of 12 million people had been submerged. From the air, it appeared in places that red tile roofs were floating on the brown water.

Some people remained crowded in the upper floors of their homes without sanitation, utilities or telephone service. Some of them said they were remaining in their inundated houses to guard against looters. Others took shelter in schools and mosques, where they slept crammed together like refugees in their own city.

Five-star hotels were overbooked with well-to-do residents who had fled the flooding. Telecommunications and Internet connections were disrupted at several foreign embassies.

Evacuations were carried out with rafts and dinghies as well as on high-wheeled, horse-drawn carts and, in at least one deeply submerged area, by helicopter.

Schools, markets and businesses closed as much of the city came to a standstill. Entire neighborhoods were accessible only by boat. For a time, the city’s airport was accessible only by high-wheeled vehicles.

In wealthier areas, some residents were paying for delivery of clean w
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