Despite the threat of volcanic eruption, Bali remains a safe place to visit. "According to the information of BNPB (National Disaster Management Authority), 98 percent of the tourist areas in Bali are safe in case of Mount Agung eruption," said Dewa Gede Ngurah Byomantara, the Head of 3rd Division of Bali Tourism Hospitality Task Force during a press conference at the Bali Tourism Board Building, Renon, Tuesday (10/10).
Dewa Gede Ngurah said that if the mount eruption occurs, there were only 2 percent of tourist objects affected; those were Besakih and Tulamben as well as Tirta Gangga. Until now the area outside 12 kilometers of the Mount Agung crater was in the safe category.
Other officials have reassured foreigners that Bali is safe to visit. Indonesian Tourism Minister, Arief Yahya has also stated that Bali remains safe for tourist visits by both domestic and foreign travelers and that the government has taken various anticipatory measures and are well prepared in case of an eruption
Governor meets foreign consulate representatives
Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika met on Wednesday (4/10) with representatives from 35 foreign consulates in Bali to discuss the continuing situation on volcanic Mount Agung during which the Governor told the foreign consuls that visitors to Bali do not need to worry about the conditions on Mount Agung. He said that in the event of an eruption of Mount Agung, only 28 villages in the Regency of Karangasem surrounding the mountain are considered in danger. All the residents of these communities have been evacuated to temporary evacuee centers until the condition subsides.
The Governor added that all major departments of the national and provincial governments have put in place contingency plans that contemplate every scenario in the event of an eruption. The Governor is certain that there will be no loss of life from any eruption providing people avoid the 12-kilometer "no go" zone.
Separately, the Governor has emphasized that the densely populated tourist areas of Bali and the Island's airport are some 60-kilometers to the south of Mt. Agung – well removed from any region considered under threat from an eruption.
Reliable information on Mount Agung developments
To provide accurate and reliable information on Mount Agung developments the Bali Tourism Hospitality Task Force was established on 3 October 2017. The Task Force members are drawn from all tourism organizations, major government agencies and key players in the Island's tourism industry.
The Task Force was set up to meet the pressing needs for reliable reports in connection with the potential threat posed by the Mount Agung increasing volcanic activity. It operates under the auspices of Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and chaired by the Head of Bali Provincial Tourism Office, AA Yuniarta. The head of the Bali Tourism Board, Ida Bagus Agung Partha Adnyana was appointed as the vice chairman of the Task Force.
The Media Center will be fully operational by mid-October 2017 and is equipped with a fully functional web and social media presence. It has the responsibility to handle enquires from the international media and the public on the latest developments on Mount Agung.
Governor Made Mangku Pastika called on the Task Force to disseminate accurate and objective information on Mount Agung. Pastika has bemoaned the large amount of unreliable information about the mountain being posted on the Internet. He urged the international community not to worry unduly about the safety of visiting Bali. People are encouraged to remain calm and to beware of misleading information in various social media, as well as photos, videos and notice that have circulated.
The Media Center Task Force is located at the Bali Tourism Board Office at Jalan Raya Puputan No. 41 Renon, Denpasar with the following details:
Call center: +62 812 4611 9889 and +62 877 5468 9166.
The latest situation on Mount Agung can be accessed through the following website and social media: