Jakarta, Sept 23, 2017 (Antara) - The alert status for Mount Agung was raised to Watch, or Level IV, on Sept 22 following increased seismic activity, though authorities ensure that Bali remains safe for tourists, particularly locations far from the volcano.
Indonesia's Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center (PVMBG) has appealed to tourists and residents to avoid any activity near the crater of Mount Agung and all northward, northeastward, southeastward, and south-southwestward areas within a 12-kilometer radius of its peak, increasing the area from six kilometers announced earlier.
"All people in the areas must be evacuated starting from 8:30 p.m. local time today (Sept. 23). No tourist or public activity is allowed there," Kasbani of the PVMBG emphasized.
However, despite increased volcanic activity at the 3,142-meter-high Mount Agung, Bali remains safe for tourists, according to Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).
"Until now, Bali is still safe for tourist visits, except the area within the radius around Mt Agung where any activity has been banned by the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG)," he informed the press on Sept 23.
Several key Balinese destinations, such as Tanah Lot, Uluwatu, Lake Beratan Bedugul, Tampak Siring Palace, Bali Safari and Marine Park, Garuda Wisnu Kencana, Sanur and Kuta beaches, Tanjung Benoa, Goa Gajah, and Nusa Penida, are safe and not affected by the increased volcanic activity at Mount Agung.
"Tourist destinations in Bali are still safe. Please visit and enjoy the natural scenery, culture, culinary, and other attractions of Bali Island. The government will surely issue an early warning and information accurately if the volcano endangers the safety of the public," he said.