Flooding in Jakarta is the worst for over a decade

Building resilience the Swiss way

Swiss Re’s new CEO reinsurance Asia and regional president Asia Russell Higginbotham is no stranger to the reinsurer, having first joined the firm in 1994.

The role he held immediately preceding his Singapore posting was as CEO reinsurance and regional EMEA and during his time with the firm he has held roles in Japan, Australia and the UK.

Taking the helm of the business unit that covers the fastest-growing insurance and reinsurance market on earth presumably brings both opportunities as well as challenges, but Mr Higginbotham seems quite sanguine facing the future. “We’ve been in Asia for a long time,” he said. “If you look back 10 years, we’ve more than tripled our business here and if you look forward five years, we aim to double the business. Our ambition over the next 10 years is for 50% of the growth of Swiss Re to come from Asia. That would leave the Asia region representing a third of our business – and a third from EMEA and a third from the Americas. You don’t have to go back too many years to see when Asia was 10% of the group.”…


Amid catastrophic floods, Indonesia tries ‘cloud seeding’ to stop the rain

Facing devastating flooding in its capital of Jakarta, Indonesia is trying something unique to stop the torrential rainfall from reaching the soaked metropolis: seeding the clouds with salt.

The response comes after deadly flash floods and mudslides, triggering by heavy rainfall, wreaked havoc in the city. The death toll in Jakarta and surrounding areas hit 66, according to local authorities and media reports…


Flooding in Jakarta is the worst for over a decade

Jakarta floods
Indonesia’s soggy capital is getting wetter every year Image credit: AP

“It was like the end of the world,” says Nurhayati, dabbing her eyes with the hem of her hijab. On December 31st swollen clouds emptied over Indonesia’s capital, dumping 377 millimetres of rain in one day. That is the most since records began in 1886, according to the state weather agency. The river near Nurhayati’s home in an eastern suburb of Jakarta burst its banks, overturning vehicles parked alongside. Within hours the water had risen nearly eight metres, engulfing one-storey houses. Nurhayati’s neighbour, Pudji, says she had to wait for 22 hours before she could be rescued from her roof.

Heavy rains overwhelm Jakarta almost every year. But this flood was easily the worst for a decade. It submerged a dozen districts in greater Jakarta, many of which had never previously been inundated, and caused landslides. At least 67 people are dead: some drowned, some died of hypothermia or were electrocuted…

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