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Nothing To Fear In Bali, Says Indonesia

JAKARTA: Amid the uncertainty over Mount Agung’s eruption, Indonesia’s tourism minister Arief Yahya says the status in Bali is normal and safe for visitors.

“As previously conveyed by Maritime Affairs Coordinating Minister Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, Bali is normal except for a 6-10km radius from Mount Agung’s peak, which is still on alert,” Arief told a press conference at the Tourism Ministry’s office on Thursday, as quoted by kompas.com, told The Star.

Earlier this month, Luhut announced that Bali was safe for tourists. The update was based on research by the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry’s Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Centre.

Although Mount Agung is still emitting tiny amounts of volcanic ash, Luhut said it was being pushed eastward by the wind.

 “Should the wind blow west, there will be a NOTAM (Notice To Airmen) and that is very common everywhere, and there is already a security procedure,” Luhut said at his own press conference on December 15 that was replayed on Thursday.
“Other regions in Bali are deemed normal. Bali’s status for tourism is safe, except for the limited radius,” Arief added.
He urged domestic and foreign tourists not to generalise that the whole island was on alert, saying that there are plenty of destinations that remain safe to visit.
Tourism in Bali has dropped dramatically since the increase in volcanic activity in the Karangasem regency on September 22.
Several countries have also issued travel warnings about the resort island, which resulted in a plunge in the number of tourists visiting Bali.
China, for example, issued a travel warning that is applicable until January 4.
Bali is estimated to have lost a million tourist visits amid fears of Mount Agung’s eruption, with the Bali Tourism Agency estimating a loss of approximately Rp750mil (RM225,600) every day. – The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network
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