This weekend we went up to Petamburan, a neighborhood just north of us, to check out the cleanup effort (Chad was doing a story for VOA).
The army must have told everybody to put the garbage in the street, because there was a line of trash piles right down the middle. The smell of garbage mixed with the smell of the mud made for a pretty aromatic setting. They brought in a front-loader, and soldiers, residents and volunteers threw all the garbage into it, to be dumped into a larger truck and hauled away.
The soldiers had stylish hip waders, but the residents got pretty dirty. Of course, if they've been living here for the past few days they've had to walk through the mud anyway. Now at least there are cleaning stations where people can rinse off.
After picking up the garbage and several bags of mud, they used a fire truck to spray the streets with water. When they were done, it was pretty clean.
Meanwhile, the gears of the daily relief effort were grinding away. Women distributed box lunches, which are generally paid for with a mix of government funding and donations. People are moving back into their houses, but they're not in a position to cook yet, so the food deliveries continue.