of Jakarta

Thousands years ago Jakarta was created from mud sediment from rivers crossing this area heading into a gulf. The sediment hardened, forming a furrow of stable land, or delta, shaped like a Chinese wood-fan. It was this area of land which evolved into the busy 14th and 15th century harbor called Sunda Kelapa. On June 22nd, 1527, Fatahillah (an Indonesian Prince who took over this area from the Dutch) changed the name from Sunda Kelapa to Jayakarta. From then on, this date has been commemorated as Jakarta's birthday.

Jakarta lies on the northwestern coast of Java, from latitude 6' to 7' south and 107' to 108' east. In terms of size, Jakarta covers a land area of 650.40 sq. km., constituting 0,03 % of Indonesia's total land area. It has a population of over 9 million.

For administrative purposes, Jakarta is divided into 5 jurisdictions: Central Jakarta (54.89 sq. km.), West Jakarta (131.41 sq. km.), North Jakarta (136.96 sq. km.), East Jakarta (182.01 sq. km.), and South Jakarta (145.13 sq. km.).

The northern part of Jakarta is a plain land. Some areas here are actually below sea level and therefore subject to frequent flooding. Meanwhile, the southern parts of the city are hilly, and consequently designated for reservoirs. There are ten rivers in the south, most of these being canals flowing from the mountains in the south, northwards towards the Java Sea. The most important river is the Ciliwung, which divides Jakarta into Western and Eastern principalities. The smaller ones are: Kali (meaning river) Sunter, Kali Cipinang, Kali Krukut, Kali Grogol, Kali Krendang and Kali Malang.

With a tropical climate, Jakarta's average daily temperature is 27 degrees Celsius during a day, sometimes exceeding 35 degrees Celsius in the hot season. Nights are cooler, and as with the rest of the country, Jakarta has two seasons: the wet season from October to April (with the heaviest rains falling from December to January), and the dry season from May to September.

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