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Flood Waters Swamp Brand-New CGK Terminal

A new $560 million terminal at Jakarta’s main airport was flooded with rainwater on Sunday, sending passengers scurrying for higher ground and forcing officials to make hasty apologies.

The brand new Garuda Indonesia passenger terminal at Soekarno–Hatta International Airport (CGK) was promised to be a state-of the-art new facility, but only days after opening its doors, torrential rains turned the just-completed building into a raging river. Local reports are attributing the indoor flooding to construction debris that had clogged critical drainage systems. Airport officials say that flooding at the site was brought under control in less than an hour, but by then, much of the damage had already been done.

According to an Associated Press report, PT Angkasa Pura II, who operates the capital city’s busiest airport, publicly apologized for the chaos caused when heavy rains overwhelmed the the structure’s drainage system putting a large part of the much-hyped new structure underwater. Photographs of the deluge show a large section of the arrivals area completely submerged.

Prior to the embarrassing setback on Sunday, officials boasted that the new $560 million terminal paired with a yet-to-be -completed third runway would help to make CGK a major transportation hub for the region. The project, however, has been rife with delays and seemingly prophetic criticism in the media that the facility was not ready for business.

Ambitious expansion plans at CGK also include renovating the older terminals at the airport in an attempt to be ready for a forecasted 62 million passengers annually within two years. The new terminal was seen as a key step in readying the notoriously overcrowded airport for the anticipated near 25 percent increase in traffic.

[Photo: The Jakarta Post]

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