Floods bring more misery to Indonesian capital amid disease fears

Overnight downpours sent floodwaters coursing back into low-lying parts of Indonesia's capital Tuesday, but authorities said floods had receded elsewhere, allowing more than 115,000 people to go home.

About 220,000 people remained in temporary shelters, as the death toll from days of flooding in Jakarta rose to at least 36, police said.

With weather forecasters predicting more rain over the coming days, medical officials said there were shortages of baby food, clean water and medicine, as well as reports of widespread skin diseases and other hygiene-related problems.

"We ran out of medicine yesterday," said Nuraini, a military doctor overseeing local relief efforts in the Central Jakarta district. "Most people have diarrhea and are sick after being in the water for too long." Like many Indonesians, Nuraini uses a single name.

Mohammed Syaifudin, 31, said he swam through 2.5-meter (8-foot) -deep floodwaters outside his house to get supplies and medicine for his wife, son and parents who have moved upstairs.

"I called my relatives for help, but their homes were flooded too," he said. "We want to leave, but don't know where to go."

As authorities warned of the threat of dysentery and cholera, anger mounted at the government's response to the floods, which burst riverbanks throughout the city Thursday and turned scores of districts, rich and poor alike, into lakes of debris and sewage.

"We live in modern times. People should have been warned," said Stefanus Lamury, who lives in a flooded residential area near the center of Jakarta, a city of 12 million. "No one should have died because of this."

Soldiers in boats delivered instant noodles and rice to those who chose to stay on the upper floors of their homes, refusing to evacuate due to fears of looting, said army Capt. Tohar.

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