It seems business as usual today. As I walked to work, the sun was shining, birds chirping, young kids having a morning smoke with friends before zooming off to school in motorbikes (I’m talking about 13-year olds here basically). The electricity didn’t come on as quickly as I had earlier posted (I misjudged just how many of my office’s neighbors had generators), but it did come on at about 10:30-11:00pm maybe. Of course that was much after all the candles were bought out of the little shop up the street when I went on a food run.

My coworkers in Aceh Barat, a district further southwest about 3-4 hours (depending on which speed demon is driving) where the quake was apparently worse, also reported that there was little structural damage – a few cracks here and there – but the real damage was the trauma and the real potential danger (there ended up being none) was the mass congestion of roads, which I mentioned earlier, of extremely concerned people. The worry seemed to be always contained though. It is likely that some people won’t come into work today, because they are still up in the mountains; not sure when and how quickly people have or will come back down. The only area where Caritas Czech has actually ordered an evacuation is in Gayo Lues, but that is due to election violence.

Photo: Heri Juanda/AP. I wasn't running around taking photos, and I don't even have a camera, so once again the photos are from someone else. But from my last post about a family perched on top of a motorcycle ice cream "truck" just replace the side cart with a yellow ice cream cooler box and that's what it was.

Photo: ABC News Australia. This is in Banda Aceh. By the time people made it up to where I live in Aceh Besar, about 15-20 minutes away from the city center, the traffic had thinned a bit as there are more than one roads up to the mountains.

Photo: Heri Juanda/AP. Mountain in site. My neighborhood looks like a mix of this photo and the second photo in terms of urbanness. Also note the woman on the cell on the motorcycle. This is a common occurrence not just during emergency times, and even motorcycle drivers text and drive. Though yesterday it was touch-and-go on whether texts would get through. Full signal service, but just way too much phone traffic. Matt called yesterday and got a message saying the lines were congested and to call back later.

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