Jakarta - The death toll from massive floods in the Indonesian capital rose to 36 on Tuesday as more torrential rains overnight caused floodwaters to rise again in some areas and brought parts of the city to a standstill.
Thousands more people flocked to emergency health posts on Tuesday morning with flood-related ailments including skin irritation, respiratory problems and diarrhea, as rescue teams continued to evacuate people from areas inundated by up to 4 metres of water, according to local reports.
Local media reports quoted Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari as saying that authorities were on alert for more serious disease outbreaks such as typhoid, cholera and measles.
Rustam Pakaya, an official from Indonesian Ministry of Health's Crisis Centre, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa that more than 28,000 people were being treated at emergency health clinics across the capital.
Jakarta city police spokesman Ketut Untung Yoga Ana said most of the 36 fatalities, which rose from 29 reported dead on Monday, were either washed away by floodwaters, electrocuted by fallen power lines or died from exposure to cold water.
'Given the death toll, this year's flooding is worse than in 2002,' Ana was quoted as saying by the state-run Antara news agency, referring to heavy flooding five years ago that killed at least 21 people in Jakarta.
The floods began last Thursday after torrential monsoon rains and displaced more than 340,000 people in the greater Jakarta region, where more than 18 million people live, cutting telephone, power and water service and blocking roads in some areas, officials said.
Floodwaters in parts of the city were receding, allowing more than 115,000 people to return to their homes, but in other areas the flooding was still up to 4 metres deep, officials said.
Authorities were maintaining the 'highest alert' level as weather forecasters warned that heavy rains would continue in Jakarta and higher-elevated areas outside the city, possibly triggering rivers to burst their banks.