Tourists warned about Mt Agung eruption

Tourists warned about Mt Agung eruption

Tourists in Bali are being told to listen to local authorities warning about the possible eruption of Mount Agung.

The potential eruption has led to Indonesian officials doubling the size of the no-go zone around the volcano, and an alert has been issued for the second time in a week. Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency said residents and tourists should stay six kilometres from the crater and up to 7.5 kilometres away to the north, southeast and south-southwest of the mountain.

More than 1,100 people were killed in the volcano’s last eruption in 1963. Since then, the volcano, and the island itself, has become a popular tourist destination.

Australian travel insurance company Travel Insurance Direct has advised tourists to listen to local authorities. Phil Sylvester from Travel Insurance Direct said that tourists should learn from last year’s eruption on Mount Rinjani, on the island of Lombok, in which around 1,000 people were on the mountain when it erupted, despite warnings from authorities.

Sylvester did point out to travellers that it is not too late to take out travel insurance for a trip to Bali: “The thing is [Mount Agung] hasn’t erupted yet. There is no ash cloud. This is not in insurance terms ‘an event’ — not yet anyway. So yes, you can buy travel insurance today and be covered if it goes off tomorrow, or next week.”