Mount Agung, in East Bali, has erupted for the first time in over fifty years. Thousands of tourists remain stranded on the island. Some airlines have begun recovery flights, while the situation remains volatile.
Despite deceptive signs that the volcano may be settling, seismic records show that the pressure inside the volcano hasn’t been released. Heather Handley, from Sydney’s Macquarie University, claims that Mount Agung is “clearly still in an active phase”.
Nearly five million foreign tourists visit Bali every year. With the festive season around the corner, the volcano has caused havoc to their travel plans. Bustling Bali tourist hot-spots have been called ‘ghost towns’, and an estimated 250 billion rupiah is being lost by businesses each day.
The best travel advice is to reconsider your Bali holiday plans. Although some flights have resumed, the volcanic activity is unpredictable. Recent eruptions have caused a volcanic ash cloud and visibility issues across Bali.
When Mount Agung last erupted, it killed over 1000 people and the ash spread as far as Denpasar. Tourists aren’t taking their chances.
What should you do if you are in Bali?
If you are stranded in Bali, follow the advice of local authorities and evacuation orders. Stay clear of the 10km exclusion zone.
Even if recovery flights have resumed, you should expect delays. The uncertain flying conditions mean that flights may be canceled at short notice. Make sure that you have the funds and accommodation needed until a flight is available.
Keep in mind that you will not be able to extend your travel visa at the airport. If you are concerned about overstaying your visa, consult the Indonesian immigration authorities immediately.
Planning to travel to Bali when the volcanic activity settles? Check the restrictions on your travel insurance. Some insurance companies don’t pay for ‘acts of God’ which include volcanic eruptions. Companies that do cover natural disasters might not cover your trip if it was a known event.
Contact your travel insurance company and discuss your policy and coverage. If you are stranded in Bali, then it’s important to get the facts straight. Some travellers have found that their policy has not covered them.
If you’re considering travel to Bali
Further eruptions are likely and the risk of cancelled flights remains high. It is recommended that you book an alternative destination. If you have already booked your flight, your airline may have alternative airport destinations – this will depend on the airline and the conditions of your flight. Make a contingency travel plan and have enough available cash to cover your trip.
Did you know that since 2015, you cannot use foreign currency for domestic transactions in Indonesia? You need to pay by local currency. Crown Currency has Indonesian Rupiah in stock. Exchange your foreign currency before you head off on your trip and keep enough emergency cash to cover every scenario.
Foreign currency advice
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