By Cailey Rizzo
January 03, 2020
Flood damage in Indonesia
Getty Images

As the death toll in Indonesia rises due to major flooding, the country is now cloud seeding in an attempt to combat the rain around Jakarta.

"The seeding, shooting salt flares in an attempt to trigger rainfall, is aimed at breaking up clouds before they reach Jakarta," Reuters explained.

A common practice in Indonesia, the country's technology agency, BPPT, and the air force carried out three rounds of cloud seeding on Friday, with more expected when needed, an official said, according to the news wire.

Some of the heaviest rain ever recorded in Indonesia resulted in 43 deaths this week and displaced thousands more around the capital. The floods began on New Year’s Eve and have not let up with some weather reports predicting heavy rains until January 10, with an extreme peak from January 11 to 15.

The Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) said on Friday that the deluge over the past few days has been the worst since records began in 1866, Reuters reported.

Images from the city show citizens walking through chest-high water and cars washed away down the streets. Additionally, Many on social media expressed disappointment regarding Jakarta's plans to still host the Formula E racing event in June.

President Joko Widodo blamed this flooding on delays in infrastructure problems. A study from the government last year revealed that Jakarta is sinking by several centimeters a year in some parts, due to extraction of groundwater.

Last year, Widodo announced that Indonesia will move its capital from Jakarta to the province of East Kalimantan on Borneo island. The new capital will be built entirely from scratch to help alleviate Jakarta’s overpopulation.

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