Tue, 08 Mar 2005

Flood-stricken shop owners demand compensation

Wahyuana The Jakarta Post/Bekasi

At least 300 owners of shops on the ground floor of Mal Mega Bekasi shopping mall on Monday demanded that the building management pay them compensation in money for the losses they suffered due to Sunday's floods.

The traders refused compensation in the form of free promotion or discounted fees and service charges that had been granted to them for losses in previous floods. They also demanded that the management relocate them to the upper floor.

"We need cash to rebuild our businesses after the floods ... if the management fails to respond quickly, then we may take the case to court," the traders' coordinator, Rizaldi, remarked.

The shopping mall is located on Jl. Ahmad Yani, near the Bekasi Barat toll exit, alongside Giant hypermarket, Metropolitan Mall I and II, Ramayana department store, Horison Hotel and Hero department store.

While much of the ground floor was completely under water, the parking lot, which is located above it was also flooded (photo).

Kali Malang river -- which is located about 200 meters away from the back of the shopping complex -- had overflowed at around 5 a.m. on Sunday after heavy rainfall from Saturday evening.

The biggest flood compared to previous years', many traders lost their merchandise valued at between Rp 200 million and Rp 400 million per shop.

The housing estates located between Kali Malang and Citarum rivers, such as Kemang Pratama I and II, Pondok Mitra Lestari, Sinar Pondok Gede, Vila Jatirasa, Pondok Gede Permai, Vila Nusa Indah, Peduli Asih, Vila Kartini Park and Jaka Kencan, were also flooded and remained so on Monday.

Sunday's flood forced Bani Saleh Hospital on Jl. Kartini, East Bekasi, to evacuate 21 patients to Bekasi General Hospital.

Later in the day, water flooded the emergency ward reaching a depth of 90 centimeters and submerging medical equipment and medicine, as well as vehicles in the parking lot.