Indonesia on October 9 started construction of a giant sea wall along the coast in north Jakarta, attempting to fix frequent inundation in the under-sea-level region, according to the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs.

Addressing the flood problem was a commitment of President-elect Joko Widodo during his term since 40 percent of Jakarta’s area was already below sea level, with some places lower than the average by four metres, said Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Chairul Tanjung.

He emphasised that if actions are not taken immediately, in 2015 the country will sink due to rapid ground subsidence and rising sea level.

The project will also help widen the capital’s area to meet with its development potential as a leading economy hub of the island country.

Last rainy season, heavy flood left thousands in Jakarta stranded and cost 580 million USD in economic damage.

The great sea wall was designed in consultation and assistance from the Netherlands.

The first phase of the project is to build an 8-km-long wall along the coast to form a new area in Jakarta’s northern part.-VNA