DAYAH TIMU • On what was to be her wedding day, Ms Yusra Fitriani wept as she laid a ceremonial rose-printed cloth over her bridal bed, the happiest day of her life turned to tragedy in a flash.
Instead of saying her wedding vows, the young woman was grieving, her groom-to-be and seven members of his family crushed to death as they slept after a violent earthquake struck Aceh in Indonesia's west. Her groom, Mr Suharnas, was among the 100 killed when the shallow 6.5-magnitude quake ripped through the province at dawn on Wednesday.
It felled homes and toppled mosques as many in the predominantly Muslim region were preparing to pray. Those who pulled themselves from the rubble rushed to help their neighbours, or limped to hospitals that were quickly overwhelmed.
Mr Suharnas, who like many Indonesians goes by just one name, sold watches at the marketplace near his home in Meureudu. The small town was one of the hardest hit, with rescue crews confronted by scenes of utter destruction when they rushed to help those trapped.
When news reached Ms Fitriani's father Muhammad Yunus that the Meureudu market had been destroyed, he raced to check on his future son-in-law, fearing the worst.
"As I approached the market, my heart was beating very fast," he told Agence France-Presse. "It turned out his home had collapsed."
Rescuers pulled seven members of his family from the rubble. They had travelled to Dayah Timu village for the wedding.
It wasn't until late afternoon that Mr Suharnas' body was found.
The next day, guests began arriving, some bearing gifts for the couple, unaware of the tragedy. A cow had been purchased for the wedding feast, and handmade posters beamed "seeking your blessings" from the walls.
"Everything was set, the bridal table and tents with a capacity for 1,000 guests," said Mr Yunus. Instead, guests were faced with a tearful bride too distraught to talk and a family preparing for a funeral.
"Stay strong, my child, this is a test from God," Ms Fitriani's mother Rajiati said, comforting her daughter in a room decorated for the wedding.