The city sinking into the ocean faster than anywhere in the world

Imagine being told your home, your neighbourhood, even your city won't exist in just a few decades because it'll all be underwater.
It's what residents of Jakarta are facing with the Indonesian capital sinking faster than any other place in the world, as it buckles under the weight of rapid growth.
Experts estimate that the city is sinking by up to 25 centimetres a year whilst also being swallowed by a rising sea, with 95 per cent of the region's north predicted to be underwater by 2050.


Jakarta - home to 34 million people - is overpopulated and, in parts, literally giving way under the weight of overdevelopment.
But the main cause of the sinking is that 60 per cent of residents and businesses draw water straight from the ground because government infrastructure hasn't kept up with growth, or they can't afford to tap into it.
'It's a disaster,' Heri Andreas, a land subsidence expert from Bandung Institute of Technology, said.
'If we are taking the groundwater the land becomes compacted, so the above becomes lower and lower.

'Several parts in Jakarta have already sunk about four metres now and in the future maybe we can have two or three metres more.'
In the village of Kapuk Teko, children have their fun on a make-do raft instead of a playground, the cemetery has disappeared and homes are propped up on stilts to contend with two metres of water.
Resident Bang Jiih said during floods - which are more frequent and severe than ever - his family is forced onto a second floor, but many locals don't have one.
The 55-year-old lives in fear that one of his grandchildren will drown with the water which surrounds homes already claiming the lives of two children.

Giant seawalls have been built in some coastal parts but even they're sinking.
The Indonesian government has pledged big money for water infrastructure but researchers say time is running out.
'We need at least 10 years to change the groundwater into the surface water and to finally stop the subsiding,' Professor Andreas said.

The government also has a bold plan to create a new capital city on another island in a bid to alleviate many of Indonesia's challenges from rapid growth.
It's an idea that's been mooted for decades but current ministers are confident of following through.

Resident Rohaeni Bin Caska said she doesn't listen to land subsidence experts and instead trusts in her God.
Moving from one of the worst coastal areas isn't an option for the grandmother anyway because - like many others - she doesn't have the money.
© Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2019
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