Bali Volcano - Good to Know

Some feedbacks come from the team supporting the volcanologists at the station on Mt. Agung where they are continually monitoring seismic activity and volcanic ash in the air:
Scientists report, the magma has risen from a depth to only 2km below the surface, form previously 100-kilometers. They expect it will try to break through the surface. The seismic activity has not increased during the last few days but stays on a very high level (800 tremors daily). 

After the VONA alert level (Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation) has been raised to orange from yellow and seismic activities have increased drastically since September 23rd, almost 150,000 people have been evacuated, while almost half of them could start to go home, due to adjustments of the evacuation zone.  

The prevailing winds are coming from Australia and blowing N-NE. That would keep the airport clear in case of an eruption, for at least several more weeks when the winds might shift direction.
Is Bali Safe?
Scientists and tourism officials agree, that travelers to Bali will be safe, even in case of an eruption. The evacuation zone is 9-12km while Ubud is 37km and Kuta 71km away. Tourists would most probably be affected by a disturbance of the airport operation in case ashes would force the officials to close the airport in Bali.

Warning & Safety Measures
There are sirens installed all around the Mount Agung. Sirens will go off once the scientists expect an eruption within 2 hours, as a warning for anyone who might still be within the evacuation zone (9-12 kms radius). Everyone has been evacuated in this zone officials reported. Besakih Temple and the Tirtagangga Water temple are closed.

Most people who had to evacuate are well taken care of and are provided, food, water ans shelter, some have moved in with family members who live outside the evacuation zone. The Indonesian government set aside Rp.3trillion (US$225million) to aid the refugees & for any other emergencies related to this situation. President Jokowi flew to Bali on Thursday and increased the amount to Rp.4trillion (US$305million). 

Many NGOs and individuals are putting tremendous effort in, to support the government and help the villagers and also the life stock left behind, during this uncertain times. 

It has been reported that since several days now, also the wildlife has responded and many monkey and snakes are instinctively fleeing the area. For the locals a clear sign, that the alert level is serious.

Second Tier Evacuation Zone
In the event of a more massive eruption the, evacuation zone will be extended to a 16-24km radius. People loving within this area, were asked to be prepared to leave from 2 hrs to 2 weeks depending on how the situation will unfold.

Logistics & airport
VONA is still on it's highest level. DPS Airport and also the nearby airports around Bali are observing the situation closely and have been preparing for this event. Over the last few years, the Bali Airport had several days when they had to close due to volcanic ashes coming from the volcanoes in Java and Lombok. So, although such a situation is a logistic nightmare, it is nothing new and measures to handle the situation are set in place.

For the moment, also due to wind conditions a closure of the airport is still unlikely. So far, the government has prepared 350 buses to transport travelers to Surabaya where all the planes that could not land or take off in Bali would be diverted.
Can the fast boat departs from Padangbai to Gili Islands due to the volcano issues?
It is expected that only Karangasem would be affected by an eruption. Safe zones include Candi Dasa, Singaraja, Ubud, Amed, Gianyar, Kuta, Seminyak, Canggu, Bukit & Nusa Dua, generally all areas in the South & West and NW of Bali are not affected.

The tourism areas that are affected however, are some villages at the north east coast which are famous for diving. Tulamben, which is located within the official evacuation area is deserted. Hotels, restaurants, speed boat services in Tulamben have shut down and stopped operation until further notice. Furthermore Amed which is only 4km outside the evacuation zone and also Padang Bai stay in high alert but however until this day the Padangbai port is still open only for afternoon trip due to the volcano alert and high waves. We suggest all of the travelers who wants to go to Gili Islands is choosing the second trip (Afternoon) if you choose to depart from Padangbai port or choose Serangan port instead.

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