News: SBY inspects inundated Palace

Jakarta Post, 17 Jan 2013

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono made an impromptu inspection around the Presidential complex in Jakarta, which was inundated due to heavy rain that hit Greater Jakarta on Thursday.

“The President, about an hour ago, inspected several locations at the Presidential compound that were inundated by 30-centimeter-deep water. Among the most severely impacted location was the Wisma Negara, located between the State Palace and the Merdeka Palace,” Presidential spokesman Julian Aldrin Pasha said via text message at 11 a.m.

Yudhoyono was accompanied by Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa and several officials from the Presidential office, Julian added.

A photo released by the Presidential media and press office depicted Yudhoyono, Marty and other officials inspecting an area in the compound with their pants rolled up to their knees.

“The President has instructed the state secretary, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency [BNPB], the National Police chief, the Indonesian Military [TNI] commander, and Jakarta governor to take immediate necessary measures to anticipate the flooding, including launching efforts to help the [victims],” Julian said.

The heavy downpour, which brought most of Jakarta’s streets to a halt, has also forced the postponement of the bilateral meeting between Yudhoyono and Argentinean President Cristina Elisabet Fernandez De Kirchner. The meeting was originally slated for 10:30 a.m.

Later in the day, Yudhoyono is also scheduled to host a state banquet for his Argentinean counterpart at 7:30 p.m. but no presidential officials could confirm if it the dinner was going forward according to schedule. (lfr)