Singapore Tatler

Future Proof

Jakarta has always been prone to floods, but this was something else entirely. On the first day of this year, the Indonesian capital was inundated by nearly half a metre of rain. Two rivers overflowed their banks. Drains couldn’t handle the downpour and flash floods ripped through the city. Sixty-six people were killed and 60,000 were displaced from their homes.

The following month, Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency made a declaration: the floods were caused by climate change. “In addition to the increase of rainfall intensity and the continuation of extreme conditions, it turns out that the temperature of Indonesia has also significantly increased,” said the agency’s head, Dwikorita Karnawati. There is no doubt that flooding will become more frequent and more severe in the coming years.

It was yet another disaster in a terrible year for the Asia-Pacific region. Australia was ravaged by monster wildfires that wiped out unprecedented amounts of forest, farmland and housing. India suffered record-breaking summer heat, with temperatures reaching close to 50C, as experts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology warned that parts of the country were becoming “too hot to be inhabitable”. When the heat finally broke, Delhi and other parts of the country were blanketed in smog so toxic it was like being in a “gas chamber”, in the

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