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Monday, 14 October, 2002, 10:18 GMT 11:18 UK
Eerie calm settles over Kuta
Indonesian policemen walk past flower displays placed at the site of the explosion in Kuta
Kuta's main thoroughfare has been cut in two

On Poppies Gang II, a crooked lane off Kuta's main drag, shop owners are trying to salvage their stock.

Tourists lay bouquets of flowers at the blast site in Legian street in the tourist area in Kuta
The scene of the blast is now the sea of flowers
Their businesses, now mainly a mess of broken glass, were just a few metres from the scene of Saturday night's devastating explosion at the popular Sari Club.

Through the yellow tape cordoning off the side street, which reads "Dilarang melintas garis polisi" or "Police line - do not cross", they bring brand new surfboards still encased in their bubble wrap, and board bags.

It's clear they won't be doing much business for some time.

Subdued atmosphere

On the other side of the police line, a quiet crowd of tourists and locals have gathered to reflect, and to watch the progress of the investigation and clear-up operation.

It's a couple of hundred metres away from the site of the blast, but even from here it is possible to see the extent of the damage caused by the bomb.

A Balinese woman makes a prayer offering near the site of a deadly bomb explosion
The atmosphere is subdued near the bomb site
Smashed red roof tiles and window glass are strewn on the ground.

There is the occasional, solitary flip flop here and there, a sad reminder of all those who rushed to escape the blaze.

Piercing the subdued atmosphere at the police cordon is the roar of a steady stream of scooters and motorbikes - ordinary Balinese still trying to go about their lives on a Monday lunchtime, but having to find new ways to get across town.

That's because the Jalan Legian, Kuta's main thoroughfare, has been cut in two by the bomb.

Flag tribute

There's another police line on Jalan Legian, again with its crowd of locals and holidaymakers craning their necks to get a better view of the scene.

The police officer manning the cordon won't let people get any closer.

"Sorry," he says softly. "Police still need to collect the evidence."

The only people allowed through are tired looking police, and ambulance and emergency workers - they are still needed at the scene some 36 hours after the event.

Further down the street, men are sitting on pavements, talking.

But there are no longer any insistent calls of "Transport" or "You need to change money?" The daily hustle and bustle has disappeared from this once lively surfer's paradise.

And down all the streets, outside the many banks and businesses, the flags are flying at half mast.



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The BBC's Richard Galpin
"Two days after this horrific attack and still the majority of bodies have not been identified"

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14 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
14 Oct 02 | UK
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