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‘Don’t worry, be happy!’ advice as Bali volcano shakes

September 26, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Bali’s Mount Agung is on the verge of erupting and an exclusion zone has been declared as airlines keep a close eye on the situation and prepare contingency plans – but the Jakarta Post says “Keep calm and enjoy Bali”.

The newspaper’s headline reflects advice from the Association of Indonesian Tour and Travel Agencies.

Agents point out the volcano is about two hours away from the main tourist strips of Kuta and Nusa Dua, which remain safe.

Volcanic disruptions and ash clouds can mean holiday chaos for thousands of Aussies, especially if they strike at the start of the school holidays – like now.

Indonesia’s Tourism Ministry said last night satellite images showed “no detection of volcanic ash”, the Jakarta Post reported.

Chairman of the Bali office of the Association of Indonesian Tour and Travel Agencies, I Ketut Ardana, told the paper “fake news” that Mt Agung had erupted was spreading on social media with the aim of creating panic on the island.


Beware of fake news. This engraving shows the eruption of New Zealand’s Mt Tarawera in 1886 and has nothing to do with Bali


“We are trying very hard to explain the actual conditions,” I Ketut Ardana said.

“As of now, tourism has not been affected. There have been a few cancellations, but not many.”

The alert was sounded last week: Industry alert as rumbling Bali volcano threatens to erupt

Major airlines have worked out plans, such as making fuel stops in Darwin in the event of an eruption mid-flight. Most insurance policies cover delays caused by volcanic eruption – but as always coverage can vary and the buyer is well advised to read the small print. Travel agents selling insurance are well advised to do likewise.

So when will Mt Agung erupt? In short, nobody knows – though sooner is more likely than later.

Emeritus Professor Richard Arculus from Australian National University told ABC News yesterday there was a high chance the volcano could erupt by the end of the week.

Here’s his forecast of the odds of eruption: “70% to 80% within days, probably 90% within weeks to months, but I’m reserving that 10% in case it doesn’t happen – so the odds are on, but whether it proceeds to an eruption or not is still uncertain,” he said.

Written by Peter Needham

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