Rising sea level overwhelms Jakarta’s Muara Baru 

Muara Baru, North Jakarta, is going under a rising tide of sea water.

The coastal area of Muara Baru, North Jakarta, is going under a rising tide of sea water.  The impact of rising sea level is changing the landscape and wreaking havoc on the daily lives of the people living in North Jakarta, a city of 322,000.
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A view of Muara Baru with the seawall. August 2, 2022.

Udin, a local resident who has been living in Muara Baru for about 40 years, said: “When I was young, maybe around 1985, I remember there was a port with a lot of activity and there was also a mosque.  But since then, with the constant rise in sea level, now, the port is no longer in use and the mosque is abandoned.  The government has even built a seawall around the neighborhood.”

Local resident driving motorcycle beside the seawall around Muara Baru in Jakarta, Indonesia, March 13, 2022.

Diah, a snack seller who has lived in Maura Baru since she is a junior high student, said sea water can flood inland within 15 to 30 minutes without any warning and there is hardly any time to prepare.  “When that happens, I try to save my important documents and I turn off all electrical switches.”  When the sea water rises, Diah also cannot sell her snacks, mainly to the children playing in the neighborhood, because everyone will be hiding indoors.

An abandoned mosque, victim of rising sea level in Maura Baru, Jakarta, Indonesia, July 23, 2022.  

Even with the seawalls, there is a danger that the sea water might rise above them.  Nonetheless, long-time residents here are not willing to relocate.  “This is my home.  I have been living here for so long that I do not know where to go,” said Udin.

Local resident walking on a sunken structure around Muara Baru in Jakarta, Indonesia, July 23, 2022. 

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All photos credit: Iqro Rinaldi.  Top photo: Submerged abandoned mosque.

Iqro Rinaldi

Iqro Rinaldi

Seeing the reality, writing the truth, painting the light. This triangle concept is what I live by as a journalist. With 10 years of photojournalist experience around Jakarta, including the sea coast, I love every little thing about nature and humanity.

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