(BBC) Jakarta, the fastest-sinking city in the world
The Indonesian capital of Jakarta is home to 10 million people but it is also one of the fastest-sinking cities in the world. If this goes unchecked, parts of the megacity could be entirely submerged by 2050, say researchers. Is it too late?
It sits on swampy land, the Java Sea lapping against it, and 13 rivers running through it. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that flooding is frequent in Jakarta and, according to experts, it is getting worse. But it’s not just about freak floods, this massive city is literally disappearing into the ground.
“The potential for Jakarta to be submerged isn’t a laughing matter,” says Heri Andreas, who has studied Jakarta’s land subsidence for the past 20 years at the Bandung Institute of Technology.
“If we look at our models, by 2050 about 95% of North Jakarta will be submerged.”
It’s already happening – North Jakarta has sunk 2.5m in 10 years and is continuing to sink by as much as 25cm a year in some parts, which is more than double the global average for coastal megacities.
Jakarta is sinking by an average of 1-15cm a year and almost half the city now sits below sea level.
The impact is immediately apparent in North Jakarta.
In the district of Muara Baru, an entire office building lies abandoned. It once housed a fishing company but the first-floor veranda is the only functional part left.