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Indonesia port city battles to save homes from floods

Seasonal tides in Central Java province leave residents struggling to save homes from flood waters

Indonesia port city battles to save homes from floods Residents are seen in the house filled with flood waters after heavy monsoon rains in Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia, on May 13, 2016. The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG) Indonesia declares flood elevation of sea water reached 1.16 meters. ( Dhana Kencana - Anadolu Agency )

By Ainur Rohmah

TUBAN, Indonesia

Parts of the Indonesian port city of Semarang remained underwater Saturday, after high seasonal tides flooded coastal areas of Central Java province.

For the past week, residents of Semarang say they have fought an ongoing battle to stop the water -- known locally as "the Rob" -- rising.

Soaked and exhausted in the 33 degrees midday heat, they struggle with sandbags, furniture and plastic bags as their possessions become consumed.

"We've been trying everything to keep the rob out of our homes, but when the battle is so easily lost it all seems in vain," Ahmad Yusuf told Anadolu Agency by phone from his Semarang home Saturday.

He added that each year the waters appear to be getting higher and higher.

With post offices, markets, and the local police station inundated with water, many people are forced to just get on with their lives and wait for the waters to pass.

Retno Widyaningsih, the head of observation and information at the country's meteorology maritime station, told Anadolu Agency on Saturday that the Rob had reached 1.16 meters (3.80 feet) in some parts of Semarang, causing traffic jams up to 15 kilometers long

He offered words of warning to those struggling against the tides

"The rob for May is expected to reach its peak this week," he said.

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