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Indonesia, especially Java is experiencing bad weather with freak storms and lots of downpours. Many areas are flooded, houses destroyed and traveling stopped. The ferries between Gilimanuk Bali and Ketapang Banyuwangi East Java have been stopped for a while due to weather.
In Bali, people are still waiting and watching Gunung Agung. Experts say that the crater is filled about 1/3 with magma and tremors have increased in frequency and strength and is still expelling ash clouds. An explosion is still a high possibility. The danger zone is still the same as the last few days and the locals are reminded not to go back home but stay in shelters at a safe distance. Tourists are also warned not to attempt climbing the mountain.
Since the ash cloud over Denpasar and the international airport keeps shifting and then comes back, Ngurah Rai airport is operating normally as much as possible. Shifting winds are also difficult for the airports in Lombok and Labuan Bajo the gateway for the island of Komodo with its dragons.
Update: November 29, afternoon local time. Ngurah Rai airport is open for flights.
Bali’s Ngurah Rai International airport is predicted to stay closed until November 30. Many travelers are leaving the island via land and ferries. The government has increased the availability of buses and ferries to help tourists get back home via East and Central Java airports. Travelers stranded in Lombok are also waiting for a change of weather and resuming of flights from Mataram. Ferries are available to Makassar South Sulawesi to get off the island.
Officials are reporting lots of tremors and an increased activity in the crater of Mount Gunung Agung. Rocks have been thrown out and pressure is building up and the ash cloud is 3000 m high. A big explosion is possible at any moment.
Evacuees from 12 km away from the crater are looking for safety in dedicated camps. Some of the rivers flowing down the mountain are polluted with volcanic ash and are destroying farmland. Some locals are still holding out to take care of their land and cattle hoping that the mountain will calm down as it did a month ago.
Ngurah Rai International airport Bali is still closed. Evaluations of the current situation are made every few hours. For the moment officials predict that normal operations will resume Wednesday, November 29. The airport in Lombok is closed too(it was open for a few hours). Many airlines have canceled flights from and to Lombok.
The government has prepared additional 100 buses and plenty of ferries to make it easier for tourist to get off the island of Bali and also Lombok. For more details on overland travel, please read my post from yesterday.
The danger zone around the crater of Gunung Agung has been extended to 8-10 km. So far 26,000 locals have evacuated to 217 camps, and more are expected to arrive. The evacuation is very swift and the locals are willingly moving to their pre-dedicated areas; everything is very well organized.
Indonesia owns about 10% of the world’s volcanoes and eruptions are very frequent. Right now everybody is still waiting and watching the mountain; it is still very possible that it will erupt again. The ash cloud is 4000m high now. The volcano mitigation agency predicts that Mount Agung will eventually calm down; the expectation is that it will take way into next year.
Since October 30, the activities of this volcano on the island of Bali in Indonesia quieted down and the evacuees were allowed to go back home. Since November 21, until now, November 27 the mountain has erupted several times and a cloud of ash as high as 3000 m has been registered. The area around the crater, between 6 – 7,5 km are declared danger zones and the locals have been evacuated.
The tourist destinations in the south, Sanur, Kuta, Nusa Dua and also Ubud are all safe. The ash cloud first traveled toward the east and as a result, the airport of Lombok was closed. There is a big ash cloud hovering over Denpasar and the international airport now that is why the airport Ngurah Rai Bali is closed today November 26, 2017. The officials predict that flights can resume by early morning of Tuesday, November 28, 2017.
The officials are helping tourist either reschedule their flights or give a refund. Alternative travel routes are via land and ferry from Gilimanuk in the north west of Bali to Banyuwangi East Java. The ferry ride will last about 30 min. and from there you can catch flights from Surabaya East Java. There is also a ferry service from Padang Bai east Bali to Lombok. The trip takes minimal 4 hours in good weather conditions.
The population of Bali for the moment is waiting and observing Gunung Agung; the officials say that more eruptions are possible.
More than 42,000 local people who live around the Volcano in the northeastern part of the island of the gods have evacuated and are awaiting the unclear future of the next few days. Camps outside of the danger zones have been set up by the government. The locals who are mostly farmers are still evacuating their livestock and pets.
Tourist destinations in the south like Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, Tanah Lot, Jimbaran, Benoa, Nusa Dua, Sanur are not affected and not in danger.
Closed are: the Mother Temple Besakih that is at the slope of the mountain, Tulamben and Candi Dase.
Should Mount Gunung Agung erupt, the ash cloud could disrupt flight schedules to and from Bali, in a severe case; the airport might be closed for a while.
Gunung Agung an active volcano has become very active over the last few days. Many volcanic and tectonic tremors have been registered by experts and a possible eruption could be imminent. This volcano has erupted the last time 50 years ago and has caused the death of 1000 people. The Balinese are much more prepared this time around and have taken precautions. The evacuees are now hoping that this dangerous situation will downgrade without any eruption and they can go back to their homes and continue with their daily lives as usual.
Update September 26, 2017So far 57,428 evacuees have joined 357 locations. The future is still unpredictable. 4 airports outside of Bali are ready to receive flights diverted from Bali should Gunung Agung erupt!
If for business reasons you end up in Balikpapan Kalimantan Indonesia, come to this restaurant to show or remind you what your hotel in Bali is like.
Kalimantan Indonesia is not Bali; it is much bigger and still rugged and covered in rain forests. Luxury hotels are difficult to find. We flew to Balikpapan on the east coast
In Kalimantan Timur Indonesia you can still enjoy authentic tropical forests; very difficult in Bali indeed; but without luxury hotels. Make a trade off:
Indonesia islands like Sumatra and Kalimantan are as attractive and interesting as the all famous paradise island of Bali with all its luxury accommodations, many sandy beaches,
The shopping street known as Malioboro is a must for Indonesia traveling. The center of the royal city of Jogjakarta on the island of Java is an interesting adventure away from Bali.
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