Bali on high alert


DENPASAR, 27 September 2017: Bali’s travel trade is on high alert as the volcanic Mount Agung remains at the highest level 4 alert for the fifth day in a row as fears grow that a eruption could  be imminent.

The reliable Bali Update news channel reported, earlier this week, that 43,000 residents have been evacuated from their homes in the north and northwest of Bali as public and private relief efforts move into top gear. However, the figure has since risen to 75,000.

Bali Update said it had been “being bombarded with questions about the safety of traveling to Bali at this time”.

It responded by saying “while the situation is grave for those living in the shadows of Mount Agung in the Island’s north, it’s still very much “business as usual” in the island’s south and main tourist areas.”

Authorities are assuring tourists and residents who are living in the main tourist areas that there is “little personal risk, with experts outlining a scenario with a limited, although perhaps devastating impact on the island’s far north shore.”

Children evacuated from the area around Mount Agung. Photograph: Made Nagi/EPA.

In the event of a major explosion, flight operations could be interrupted for a period until atmospheric volcanic ash moves on.

Visitors can gain updates at on any significant change.

The alert level from the Center for Volcanology of Geological Hazard Mitigation remains at level 4 out of 4 and the no-go perimeter around the crater rim is still in place at 12 km, extended from 9 km earlier.

As access to the eastern region of Bali is getting more difficult due to blocked roads with evacuees and local authorities, the island’s leading tour company, Asian Trails decided to stop all activities north of Candidasa and on the East Coast until Tembok effective 26 September.

This means that visitors currently staying and travelling in the region (Amed, Kubu, Tulamben) or doing  excursions such as a visit to Besakih temple, Bali Asli cooking class, diving and snorkeling activities in Tulamben and Amed and Muntigunung, Tirta Gangga, Taman Ujung will be diverted to another region where similar sightseeing options are offered.
Sideman and Candi Dasa regions are considered safe zones by the government. which means many of the families evacuated from the Mount Agung area reside in this area in temporary shelters.

Some guests in nearby resorts are seeking to shift their accommodation, but most hotels will apply full cancellation charges, as both Sideman and Candi Dasa are designated safe havens by government agencies, Asian Trails explained.

The airport of Bali remains fully operative and as of now no issues have been reported. The airport is around 72 km from the the base of Mount Agung (a two-hour and 15-minute drive).

Singapore Airlines said it was closely monitoring the situation in Bali, Indonesia with regards to the possible eruption of Mount Agung. As of now, all Singapore Airlines flights to and from Denpasar (Bali) continuing to operate as scheduled.

Customers travelling to Denpasar (Bali) up until October 2, 2017 with their tickets issued on or before September 22, may contact the nearest SIA ticket office if they would like to rebook or request for a ticket refund.