Indonesian authorities are on standby to divert every flight destined for the island paradise of Bali as increasingly frequent tremors from a rumbling volcano stoke fears as an eruption could be inevitable. However, the Balinese authorities and government have sent a letter addressing to the “people of the world”, pleading with tourists that Bali is 100% “safe”. In addition, swift assurances were made in a follow-up statement which claims that around 60,000 tourists were still flying in and out of the country.
The statement said the raised hazard level of Mount Agung may in fact “discourage tourists” from visiting the island of Bali. However, most tourist destinations were far from the exclusion zone. Therefore, Bali Tourism Board says that tourists shouldn’t be worried about the threat of the volcano erupting.
When is Mount Agung Expected To Erupt
Officials have already warned the general public that an eruption of Mount Agung on the tourist island of Bali is inevitable with the active volcano entering “critical” phase. Increasingly frequent tremors have been recorded amidst a spike in volcanic activity. While Bali governor I Made Mangku Pastika declared a state of emergency that was extended until October 16, Monday.
Furthermore, the observation post for Mount Agung witnessed the volcano emitting a small plume most likely of water vapor last September 29. However, there were no ash clouds present. In addition, the area has been placed under the highest volcano alert – however, experts have said it’s impossible to say precisely when it will erupt.
How Many People Were Already Evacuated
Bali’s national disaster agency states that more than 130,000 people have fled the area near Mount Agung. Thousands of people are living in temporary shelters after a 7.5-mile exclusion zone that was set up all around the mountain. However, there are fears that many people are ignoring the warnings or they’re returning to the said danger zone to care for the cows that were left behind, amounting to 30,000 cows.
Furthermore, vehicles packed with noodles, mineral water and blankets have been sent to all evacuation centers, while residents around the area have been gathering donations for those who are affected by the danger of Mount Agung erupting.
Travel Advisory to Bali
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade stated that tourists who plan to visit Bali should reconfirm their trips with airlines and tour operators. In addition, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency states that locals and tourist should not be within 9 kilometers of the crater and within 12 kilometers to the north, northeast, southeast, and south-southwest.
Mt. Agung has not yet erupted and flights to Bali are not affected and still operating regularly; however, an exclusion zone around the area is already affecting tours and trekking tours. Therefore, it’s safe to assume that visiting Bali is still possible provided that you always keep yourself updated with travel advisories and what the government has to say about the current situation.
There’s no need for you to hold back your plans and to put down your things to do and see in Bali list just yet. Traveling to Bali is still safe provided that you stay away from Mount Agung at all costs.