Government ministers, along with experts from the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) and the Body of Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG) have reiterated that Bali’s level-four warning status only applies to an area of 8-10 kilometres in the immediate vicinity of Mt. Agung’s crater in Karangasem regency.
Agus Purwoto, who is Coordinating Minister for the Maritime Ministry met this week with Indonesia’s Minister of Transportation, along with the Head of the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Council (BMKG), to discuss the updated status of Mount Agung in Bali. Alongside the Regional Police Chief, the Commander of the Military and a number of local officials, the following statement has been released:
“The alert status of Mount Agung is applicable to a 10km radius (surrounding the volcano), whilst other areas in Bali are declared normal.” This remote area to the northeast of Bali accounts for only 2 per cent of the island, away from Bali’s most popular tourism hotspots, such as Tanah Lot, Sanur, Pandawa Beach, Mount Batur, Ubud, Kuta Beach, Padang-Padang Beach, Lovina Beach, Dreamland Beach and Nusa Dua Beach, all of which remain unaffected by Agung.
Analyses of satellite images and seismic readings by the BMKG have confirmed that activity at the volcano has subsided, with no ash being released from its crater into the local atmosphere. Crucially, this information provides official confirmation that Mount Agung no longer poses a threat to flights coming in or out of Bali.
Dwikorita Karnowati, who is the head of the BMKG, confirmed in an official statement, that “from the monitoring results of the Himawari Satellite we can see that no volcanic ash has been detected. Therefore, it can be concluded that the tourist areas and the airport in Bali are safe.”
The latest news comes as a welcome relief to travellers considering Bali as their holiday destination, many of whom consider the prospect of disruption to onward travel to be of greater concern than direct danger from the volcano itself.
The official confirmation and clarification of Bali’s current safety status comes just in time for the holiday season, and will hopefully precipitate a return to normality in terms of tourist numbers on the island. Now that Bali is officially safe, with no immediate threat to flights, the island’s tourism industry is expected to bounce back.