Authorities in Bali are reporting a dramatic rise in tremors coming from the volcano on Bali’s Mount Agung, but could an eruption and ash cloud cause travel disruption for flights?
Here’s what we know about the situation in Bali and how any eruption could impact on your travel plans.
When will the volcano erupt?
Officials believe that an eruption could be imminent. The state of emergency on Bali has been extended until October 16. Despite this, it is impossible to say when or even if the volcano will erupt. Experts have warned the uncertainty could last for weeks or even months before there is an eruption or the risk recedes.
Will my holiday to Bali be cancelled? What is the official Gov.UK advice?
At the moment, there is no indication that holidaymakers will be stopped from travelling to Bali. The local government has stated that travellers will be kept out of harm’s way if the worst should happen. However, keep an eye on what advice the Gov.UK site is giving before you travel. Currently, there are no specific warnings.
Here is what the Gov.UK site is advising on October 11:
“On 22 September 2017, the National Disaster Management Authority for Indonesia raised the volcanic alert level for the Mount Agung volcano in north east Bali to level 4, the highest level possible. This level remains in place and indicates that an eruption is possible within 24 hours.
You should monitor local media reports, follow the advice of the local authorities and stay outside the exclusion zone which extends between 9 and 12 kms from the crater. If there is an eruption, volcanic ash clouds could result in airport closures and flight disruption in the region. In the event of volcanic ash clouds you should confirm your travel arrangements directly with your airline or travel agent before travelling to the airport.”
Watch Mount Agung live here
See the latest situation with this live video stream of Mount Agung.
What happens if there is an eruption and I am affected by ash?
Click below to download a leaflet from the International Volcanic Health Hazard Network, which will explain volcanic health hazards and how to prepare and cope with ashfall from an active volcano.
Are tourists already in Bali at risk?
There should not be any danger to tourists on the island, as they’ll be kept well away from the Mount Agung. The big worry is that they could be stuck on the island if local airports are hit by an ash cloud.
Should I cancel my trip?
The risk of an eruption and ash cloud will be a worry for some travellers and it’s been reported that some airlines are offering refunds for worried passengers. Many aircraft are also carrying extra fuel to mitigate the risk of being diverted to other airports. Ferries are also being readied to evacuate up to 60,000 tourists should the need arise.
Will there be ash cloud problems similar to those that that ground thousands of flights in 2010
At the moment, the problems would likely be localised with airspace shut down over Denpasar, according to experts. This could hit travellers attempting to leave Bali and other destinations in the area. Depending on winds and how strong the eruption is, the disruption could spread further afield.