Bali accuses competitors of spreading hoaxes about volcano

PHOTO: AFP

The Bali provincial administration has accused countries that have destinations similar to Bali of spreading hoaxes about the impact of the volcanic activity at Mount Agung in trying benefit from recent disruption.

While volcanic activity at Mount Agung has been declining, they [other countries] spread [false] information, claiming that Bali is a dangerous place to visit, said the head of Bali Development Planning Agency (Bappeda) I Putu Astawa in Sanur, Bali, on Monday as reported by kompas.com.

"The countries of our competitors spread [misleading information]. It has been building a bad image about Bali," said Putu.

Therefore, he called on the government to counter these hoaxes by spreading real information about Bali all over the globe.

He called on those involved in tourism to take part in spreading positive news about Bali.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) on Jan. 4 narrowed the danger area surrounding the volcano to six kilometers from Mount Agung's crater, from the previous 10 km. However, the agency still maintains the highest alert status (Level 4) for the volcano.

"We have to jointly counter false information to explain the real conditions in Bali. In fact, volcanic activity is declining," he added.

Mount Agung erupted in late November, spreading volcanic ash to nearby areas and forcing I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport and Lombok International Airports to close for several days.

BNPB said 70,610 people were being accommodated at 240 displaced person shelters, while many others have been allowed to return to their houses.

Bali's Mount Agung the new selfie hotspot for tourists

  • A potentially life-threatening natural disaster to some is a photo opportunity of a lifetime to others.
  • Mount Agung in Bali may be belching less ash and smoke in recent days, but the volcano is still on the highest alert level, after rumbling to life in September and showing signs of eruption in late November.
  • But the element of danger and fuelled foreign thrill-seekers keen for a close-up look at the volcano.
  • Mount Agung has become the new selfie destination, according to some reports, with tourists pausing outside the 10km exclusion zone for a quick snap.
  • One hot location is the picturesque Lempuyang Temple, or 'Gates of Heaven', as ash and smoke can be seen gushing from Mount Agung in the background.
  • Said Australian Jill Powers, who told Daily Mail Australia that she planned to travel to Bali to see the volcano: 'Sounds stupid but yes, I have it on my bucket list to see a live volcano.'  'I think it would be my only chance to tick it off.'
  • However, Indonesian authorities warn that at least 100,000 islanders will likely be forced to leave in case of a full eruption.
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