A fisherman walks across a road flooded by seawater in Jakarta, Indonesia, in April. Home to more than ten million people, Jakarta is the capital and largest city of a sprawling island nation. Today the city faces significant threats from flooding, sinking land, rising sea levels, and climate change.
Beijing-based photographer Sean Gallagher recently traveled to Jakarta to report on these challenges. The city has long faced serious floods, including a deluge in 2007 that killed 50 people and displaced 300,000. But the problem seems to be getting worse, said Gallagher.
"Jakarta is increasingly being ravaged by floods that are exacerbated by a number of factors, including rising sea levels, extreme weather events, and the fact that the city is sinking up to 30 centimeters [12 inches] per year," said Gallagher.
"Forty percent of the city is below sea level," he added, "and the city's dilapidated canal system is choked with severe pollution."
—Brian Clark Howard