Despite Indonesia’s disaster migration agency cementing the volcano’s alert level at the highest it could be, most of Bali is now safe for tourists. The dense ash cloud which blanketed the area around Mount Agung after its eruption has dissipated to nothing more than a plume. However, the 10-kilometre exclusion zone still stands to keep residents safe and there are around 55,000 people living in emergency shelters.
Many airlines have cancelled recent flights to Bali, however, now that the ash cloud has depleted, most are set to return to service on Monday 11th December. However, some will not be running until after Christmas.
Geologists do warn that a violent eruption of Mount Agung is still very high, just less so than the several weeks that have passed as pressure has been slowly released.
When Did Mount Agung Erupt?
Bali’s volcano erupted for a second time in late November, shooting volcanic ash and steam 2 kilometres into the sky. As a result, Indonesia issued a red aviation warning and countless flights were cancelled, resulting in many travellers stranded in Bali.
Some airlines cancelled all flights to Bali, including Virgin Australia. Although this left many holidaymakers stuck at home, the precautionary measure was implemented to keep everyone safe until the conditions stabilised.
Although the impact on traveller and holiday makers has been highly documented, the residents of 22 villages located in the volcano’s danger zone have been affected most. Of the estimated 100,000 Balinese citizens living in the zone, only 40,000 have been evacuated; many do not want to leave their livestock or are fearful.
When Did the Volcano Last Erupt?
Before November 2017, Mount Agung last erupted in 1963, sadly killing more than 2,000 people. In the February of that year, locals began hearing explosions before a huge ash cloud darkened the sky and lava sped down the sides of the volcano.
Four weeks late the volcano completed a second full eruption, destroying nearby villages. Mount Agung then remained active for the following year whilst locals tried to rebuild their lives.
Advice to those Travelling to Bali
If you are set to fly to Bali contact your airline or tour operator. Many are offering alternatives such as visiting other Indian Ocean or Far East locations.
You should also check your insurance policy as many companies do not protect customers against ‘acts of God’ or known event – Mount Agung has been rumbling for a large portion of the year.
With Exapatriate Group, All customers on our Standard and Comprehensive levels of insurance benefit from an “Emergency evacuation for non-medical reasons, including … Natural Disasters, or other causes” up to €1,500 to cover the cost of obtaining or paying for evacuation during natural disasters that could not have been foreseen prior to departure. A ‘natural disaster’ would include a volcanic eruption.
The Comprehensive policy also provides cancellation and curtailment cover, so long as the customer wasn’t aware of the natural disaster prior to the purchase of the policy.
If you have been affected by this event and you think that you may have a claim, you can access our online claim form by clicking here.