Padang a City of Rubble, Queues and Traffic Jams After Indonesia Earthquake

Traffic jams, long lines for essentials and a lack of transport were just some of the issues troubling Padang locals on Thursday as they faced a huge cleanup after a devastating earthquake that may have killed thousands. Minangkabau International Airport was very crowded early on Thursday afternoon. There was no serious damage to the airport from the earthquake. However, people who have just arrived at the airport were having trouble finding ways to get into town because public transportation services, such as the airport bus, were not operating. People had to travel by taxi or ojek but there were very few of them available. Aria, an ojek driver, said the airport bus stopped carrying people on Thursday morning. “So people have started looking for ojeks,” he said. The area around the airport was very quiet, and there was still no electricity in Padang city, said Riky, a bus attendant. He said people had been in the dark since last night. There were long lines at gas stations in Padang as locals clambered to buy fuel. Cecilia, a Tabing resident, said that she had been waiting for almost two hours to get four liters of fuel for her motorcycle. “I still have gas to cook in the house, thank God,” she said. Cecilia said that the gas stations had only started to reopen at 10 a.m. and people were angry because they had been waiting for a very long time. At the Tabing gas station, some in the queues had started to heckle the attendants. “Hey, come on, we have waited for hours, what’s wrong with the machine?” one man shouted angrily. Meanwhile, the communications president of state fuel company Pertamina, Basuki Trikora, said that all Pertamina storage facilities in West Sumatra were safe. Six out of 13 gas stations in Padang were fully operational while the rest were badly damaged. Pertamina has enough supply of petroleum for 14 days, kerosene for 14 days, solar for 20 days and avtur for 21 days in the area, he said. The petrol station wasn’t the only place in Padang where people were waiting. Traffic was snarled outside Nissan Diesel’s showroom, about 500 meters from Tabing’s gas station. Andre, a resident, said that people were now rushing home after spending the night camped out in higher spots in the Tunggul Hitam area, in case of a tsunami. “Its a very bad jam, because people want to get back home soon,” he said.

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