01 Nov Volcano Bali – Mount Agung Update
BREAKING NEWS!! The warning status for Bali’s Volcano, Mount Agung, has been dropped to level 3 – trips to Amed are now OPEN!
Bali’s volcano – Mount Agung is the highest mountain in Bali. It is the holy mountain for Balinese people and the home to the so-called “Mother Temple” of Besakih. The legend says that Agung was created when the Hindu God Pasupati split Mount Meru – the spiritual axis of the universe – and formed Mount Agung as a replica.
On the 22nd September 2017 the eruption warning of the Bali Voclano, Mount Agung, was raised to the highest level – suggesting that an eruption was imminent. There was a 12km exclusion zone around the volcano; local villagers who were living in the exclusion zone were safely evacuated. Our beloved Tulamben dive sites were within the exclusion zone and so we stopped running dive trips there; Amed was in the safe zone but we also stopped running trips to the area while the alert level remained at level 4.
As of the 29th October 2017 the alert level for Bali’s volcano, Mount Agung, has been lowered to level 3 as the activity within the volcano have been steadily decreasing over the past 10 days. The exclusion zone has been reduced to 6 – 7.5km, so evacuees who do not live in the new danger zone can return to their homes.
If the conditions change again, the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM) will issue new warnings – there are updates on the volcano approximately every 6 hours and so far the activity continues to decline.
What would happen if the volcano erupts?
If the volcano erupts it could have an impact on the flights, as the airport might close should there be an ash cloud that travels south. If that happens, you can fly out of Indonesia from other international airports nearby, including Lombok and Java – the Bali Government has already put steps in place to assist tourists with their flights which would be redirected the surrounding airports. Usually, at this time of year the wind blows towards East, so possible ash fall would be blown out onto the ocean and not towards the airport. So, it is also possible, that any ash cloud from the volcano would not have any impact on the airport.
All in all, the biggest threat to tourists would be the closure of the airport due to an ash cloud and not the eruption itself.
How safe is it to travel to Bali?
It is safe to visit Bali! Except the restricted area around the volcano that shouldn’t be entered – the Volcano lies approximately 60km North of Sanur where we are located. The #iaminBaliNOW campaign tries to get this message out to the world! We are glad to be part of it as well and show that you can still enjoy your holidays here safely!
Current impact on Blue Season Bali
Tulamben, one of our dive sites, was in the old exclusion zone. It isn’t anymore, but to stay on the safe side and while the warning status is newly decreased, we aren’t currently running trips to the area. We had also stopped running trips to Amed due to its proximity to the Volcano, even though it was previously located within the safe zone. Now as the alert level has been lowered, we are going to start running trips to Amed; starting from the 3rd of November 2017. Trips to Padang Bai and Nusa Penida are far away from the Volcano and will continue to run as usual.
If you have any further questions concerning your trip to Bali, feel free to message us or follow our Facebook page for the latest updates!