INDONESIA: According to the Economic Forum, Jakarta is the fastest sinking city in the world. The estimated rate at which the city is sinking is around 25 cm per year. At this rate, the predictions say that by 2050, most parts of the city are going to be underwater. Currently, half of Jakarta is sitting under sea level. Moreover, the calculations reveal that by 2050, the city will be submerged inside the water.
In Jakarta, rivers run across the swamps making the soft soil prone to lose its rigidity.
The sinking megacity
North Jakarta once used to be higher than the sea level. But now, the lays below the sea level protected by the sea wall. Each year, the sea level is higher than the last. This part of Jakarta is the most vulnerable to floods. Due to the floods, many residents are forced to relocate their houses on the higher side.
In the early 2000s, Kampung Apung, famously known as ‘The floating village’ was drowned because of the rising sea level.
Reason behind the rising sea level
Excessive extraction of groundwater from the aquifers is one of the major causes of the accelerated sinking of the city. In an attempt to save money and get water easily, people dig holes illegally and consume water for various domestic purposes.
Rising sea level aggravates the problem and is certainly the result of climate change.
All the greens that once covered the lands of Jakarta have rapidly vanished due to the prompt development of housing, industries, and malls. The soft soil is unable to withstand the weight and is getting vulnerable to disappearing into the water by every passing year.
Read Also: The Worst Flood Sinks Cagayan Valley
Measures taken to combat the problem
To combat this problem, Jakarta has come up with a $222 million project called ‘National Capital Integrated Coastal Development’. The project will include the formation of a giant sea wall on the outer sides of the city that will stretch up to 30 km. Out of which, 7 km of the coastal dyke is standing up at the moment. Moreover, it is reported that to cover the full area, a wall of 60 km is required.
In the areas below sea level, the wall is risen by 20 cm every year.
In 2019, Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia decided to move capitals from Jakarta to the outer side of Java Island. He had said that it is a long-term vision. Widodo also mentioned that making a capital that could join the ranks of other developed cities, may take a longer time.