Up to their necks
For most press photographers standing in the rain is an occupational hazard; even so the equipment we use does not operate well when wet. Imagine then the challenges faced by news photographers when torrential rain floods a nations capital city, leaving more than 340,000 people displaced and knocking out transport and communications.
After 24 hours of continual downpour, Reuters Jakarta photographer Beawiharta was shooting pictures of happy children playing in flooded paddy fields. Two days later with the water still rising Chief Photographer Indonesia Enny Nuraheni was literally up to her neck in it, photographing the evacuation of beleaguered residents from lower lying areas of the city.
I was paddling through flood water on a borrowed air mattress which residents usually use to sleep on. Getting access to the areas of deeper water using my temporary raft I was able to shoot the pictures of rescuers putting the boy in a plastic container as they fled, neck deep in flooded streets. We had to continually take care and rely on local knowledge as we couldnt determine what was a flooded river and what was a tunnel which could sweep us under the flood waters.
A week later as the waters receded, with thousands still in cramped emergency shelters and the fear of disease gripping the city, Beawihartas image of buckets of mud in a Jakarta classroom, looks deceptively like a scene from Willy Wonkas chocolate factory and hints at the sheer scale of the task faced by residents before they can return to their homes.
And finally, two succinct black and white images from You Witness contributor Donal Husni show life in Pamalung, Indonesia returning to normal as the floods recede.