The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) has made sure that tourist sites in Bali such as Tanah Lot, Uluwatu, Beratan Bedugul Lake and Tampak Siring Castle, Bali Safari and Marine Park, Garuda Wisnu Kencana, Sanur Beach, Tanjung Benoa, Goa Gajah, Nusa Penida area and Kuta Beach are safe amid the alert status of Mount Agung, the highest mountain in Bali, that had been raised to level 3 alert following an increase in volcanic activity.
BNPB information data central and public relations head Sutopo Purwo Nugroho confirmed that that there had been an increase in the volcanic activity of Mount Agung, Karangasem regency on September 22 from 12:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. A total of 58 shallow volcanic tremors, 318 deep volcanic tremors and 44 local tectonic tremors have occurred during that period.
The Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG) recommends for residents around Mount Agung as well as climbers and tourists to stop any activity near the Mount Agung crater area. They are asked to stay away within a six-kilometer radius from the top of Mount Agung with an elevation of 950 meters from sea level and additional sectoral expansion to the north, southeast, and south-southwest for 7.5 kilometers.
“There should not be a single activity or person within this radius,” Sutopo added.
Sutopo moreover regretted the spreading of hoax news and exaggerated reporting that caused panic among the people.
“Apart from the restricted radius that has been announced by the PVMBG, tourism in Bali is still safe up until now,” said Sutopo.
In case Denpasar’s I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport is closed in the event of a Mount Agung eruption, the Transportation Ministry estimates that at least 5,000 air passengers scheduled to depart from Bali could be affected, and 100 buses are prepared to carry passengers from Bali to the nearest airports.
The ministry said officials have been prepared to take passengers overland to East Java’s Blimbingsari Airport in Banyuwangi and Juanda International Airport in Surabaya, as well as to Lombok International Airport in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB).
The three airports are among the 10 airports being prepared to receive passengers and flights diverted from Bali.