MFA issues Bali travel advisory for Singaporeans [TODAY Online]

Singaporeans currently in Bali should monitor these developments closely, avoid Mount Agung and its vicinity.

TODAY Online

Mount Agung

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has advised Singaporeans to avoid travelling to the affected areas of Bali after Tuesday’s (Nov 21) eruption of Mount Agung - a move which an Indonesian official deemed "excessive".

Reports emerging from the affected area say that more than 140,000 people had fled their homes in the months before the eruption. Flights to Bali have been unaffected so far.

In a statement on Wednesday, the ministry also urged Singaporeans to e-Register at its portal so that it could contact them if the need arises.

Singaporeans who are in need of consular assistance may contact the Singapore Embassy in Jarkarta or the 24-hour MFA duty office, it added.

The statement noted that Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency has been warning residents and tourists in recent months to stay away from an exclusion zone of 7.5km around the crater.

Bloomberg, however, quoted a spokesman for the Indonesian agency as saying Singapore's travel advisory is "excessive".

Mr Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told the news agency in a text message: "It's excessive for Singapore to issue an advisory on Bali as only a radius of 6 to 7.5 kilometers around the crater of Mount Agung is considered dangerous.

"So the condition is safe. Flights are also safe."

Singapore's MFA said volcanic eruptions could result in ash clouds that could severely disrupt air travel, leading to closures of affected airports. Ash fall could also affect outdoor activities, it added. 

“Singaporeans currently in Bali should monitor these developments closely, avoid Mount Agung and its vicinity,” said the ministry.

Singaporeans are advised to “take all necessary precautions” for their personal safety, monitor the local news closely and heed the instructions of the local authorities. Singaporeans should also be ready to evacuate at short notice, said the ministry, adding that they purchase “comprehensive travel and medical insurance and be familiar with the terms and coverage”.

Prior to Tuesday's eruption, the 3,031m Mount Agung last erupted in 1963, killing about 1,100 people and hurling ash as high as 10km.

Source: TODAY Online

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