Outdoor World

Bali: travel warning issued as volcano threatens to erupt

Jetstar and Qantas say services to the popular tourist destination are going ahead but they are watching the situation closely

Holiday plans are in limbo for thousands of Australians after the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade issued a new travel warning for Bali because of fears of a volcano eruption on the popular sightseer island.

Indonesian authorities have raised the alert degree for the Mount Agung volcano at the very highest category, meaning an eruption could be imminent.

On Saturday, the Indonesian Department of Meteorology, Climate and Geophysics said there had been five small eruptions detected coming from the mountain, and an ash editorial as high as 1000 metres had been observed.

There had been a” tremendous increase” in volcano activity.

They said locals and tourists should be 12 kilometres away from the crater in some areas.

A spokesman for Jetstar said all flights to Bali were going ahead as scheduled, but the airline was monitoring the situation.

Jetstar flies direct to Bali about 60 times a week, with chamber for more than 10,000 passengers.

Qantas, which flies to Bali once a few weeks, said its meteorologists were monitoring activity but services were still going ahead as scheduled.

School holidays are under way in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and the ACT, and the number of travellers visiting the island usually booms during this period.

Holidays start next week for schools in South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.

About 1.2 million Australians visited Indonesia in 2016, second only to New Zealand as Australia’s favourite destination.

Mount Agung is in the Karangasem Regency in East Bali, about 75 kilometres from the sightseer hub of Kuta.

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade told travellers to reconfirm their plans with airlines but said the overall level of advice had not changed.

” Local authorities have temporarily suspended all outdoor activities such as hiking and camping activities in proximity to the crater ,” the department said.

” Monitor local media reports and follow the instructions of local authorities. An eruption of Mount Agung could impact air travel in the region. Contact your airline or tour operator to demonstrate travel plans .”

Hundreds of small-scale tremors have rattled the mountain this week, inducing nearly 10,000 people to leave their homes as of Friday over fears of a volcanic eruption.

” Tremors happen very often, so we are afraid and I have taken all my family members to the refugee shelter ,” villager I Wayan Suwarjana told AFP.

National disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho advised people to stay calm and not to believe rumours.

The airport on Bali’s capital, Denpasar, a top holiday destination that attracts millions of foreign tourists every year, has not been affected but its management is watching the situation closely.

Read more: https :// www.theguardian.com/ world/ 2017/ sep/ 23/ travel-warning-issued-for-bali-as-volcano-threatens-to-erupt

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