Bali’s Mount Agung erupts again – but don’t cancel your travel plans yet

Bali

A farmer carries a bag of fertilizer as Mount Agung volcano emits smoke in the back ground. Source: Antara Foto / Reuters

DAYS after Indonesia lowered the alert status for the surrounding area of Mount Agung in Bali, it has erupted again.

Social media has revealed the extent of the recent eruption, showing a 1.5-kilometer ash column streaming out of the crater.

As of yet, no airlines have announced cancellations or redirection for flights in and out of Bali.

However, authorities are observing the situation as Mount Agung continues to spew ash, as this mixture of fine ash particles and rocks can cause plane engines to fail.

The paradise island was getting ready to welcome Chinese tourists in time for the imminent Lunar New Year festivities.

“In spite of Mount Agung’s earlier eruptions, Bali Island’s safety for travel is under control and we welcome Chinese tourists,” Indonesian Tourism Minister Arief Yahya recently told a news conference in Beijing.

Earlier this year the consulate general of China in Denpasar urged Chinese Tourist traveling to Bali to be cautious when planning their trip.

However, Bali’s governor I Made Manggku Pastika, soon countered these claims and insisted the consulate general issue a statement to Chinese tourists informing them “the Island of the Gods in the Indonesian archipelago is safe to visit”.

The decision to downgrade Mount Agung’s status was made after several scientific indicators showed a drastic decrease in activity in the past month.

This also meant those living on the slopes of the volcano could return home as more than 140,000 people had to leave their dwellings and livelihoods after Indonesia raised its alert status to the highest level when Mount Agung erupted in November 2017.

The ash that fell yesterday was light and undisruptive to daily activities reported The Jakarta Post.

A detector has now been fitted on Mount Agung so scientists can receive an early indication if the volcano is going to erupt again.