• Impact of volcano situation felt more than Bali Bombings: Karangasem Regent

    A hiker looks out over Mount Agung. Photo: Wang Dongxu/Unsplash

    The uncertainty of a big pending eruption from Mount Agung has hit the island’s economy harder than the Bali Bombings did, says the regent of Karangasem.

    Already belching ash in some smaller eruptions over the course of the past month, Mount Agung has been threatening to blow its top in a full-on explosive eruption, but even the experts couldn’t say when or if it will happen for sure.

    The volcano, located in Bali’s Karangasem regency, about 75 kilometers from the island’s tourist hub of Kuta, has been a level IV, the highest alert level since Nov. 27 and had previously been on that level from Sept. 22 to Oct. 29.

    While Bali is safe outside the exclusion zone—set at 10 kilometers from the volcano’s crater—Agung’s recent volcanic activity has affected travelers flying in and out of Bali.

    Ash clouds forced the closure of Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airpot for nearly three full days starting on Nov. 27, stranding tens of thousands of travelers.

    Although the airport was allowed to reopen on the afternoon of Nov. 29, thanks to shifting winds, tourists have been canceling their trips to Bali left and right, not wanting to get stranded on the island, without trip insurance coverage, in anticipation of the big eruption likely ahead.

    Officials estimate that 30 percent of end of year flights to Bali will be cancelled.

    Karangasem Regent, I Gusti Ayu Mas Sumatri said a look at the regency’s official income (PAD) works as an example to show that Agung has taken more of a toll on the local economy than the Bali bombings, when 202 victims were killed in a series of attacks in Kuta in 2002 and then in 2005 when 20 people were killed in the second Bali bombing.

    “Last year, we had IDR235 billion (US$17.3 million) but it’s estimated that this year PAD will only be IDR50 billion (US$3.68 million),” Sumatri said in Karangasem on Sunday, as quoted by Merdeka.

    “So, compared with the Bali bombings one and two, there are more losses now. Then there was no airport closure, but the airport was closed,” he said.

    As a result, the regent says he’s pleading for support from various players, including the government to restore the island’s economic condition.

    The regent said he also wanted to point out that out of the 78 villages in Karangasem regency, only 15 are actually endangered by Agung’s eruption, so that should be an indication that the island beyond the exclusion zone is safe for tourists to enjoy.

    Sources: https://coconuts.co/bali/news/impact-volcano-situation-felt-bali-bombings-karangasem-regent/
    Re-posted by Pande

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