Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Vice President Jusuf Kalla has proposed a change in the venue of the 10th Bali Democracy Forum (BDF), which was originally planned to take place in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Dec 7 and 8, 2017, to Jakarta, after the raise in alert status of Mount Agung to the highest level.
"It can be shifted to Jakarta," he said at his office here on Tuesday.
The change in the venue of the forum will not disrupt its essence because in principle, it is a meeting of democracy, he stated.
It will also ease the transportation and accommodation of participants after Ngurah Rai Airport in Bali was closed as of Monday (Nov 27) due to the eruption of Mount Agung, he noted.
"It is impossible to hold an important meeting when there is a natural disaster," he remarked.
The vice president expressed hope that Bali will return to normal when it hosts the annual meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Oct 2018.
"They will monitor the condition until next year. If I am not mistaken, they will do it in March or April. If they consider the condition dangerous, then they will evaluate it," he revealed.
The Indonesian Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center (PVMBG) has raised the alert status of Mount Agung from alert level III to IV, the highest, indicating eruption hazards.
The authorities have stated that dark smoke and ash have been billowing up to 3,400 meters above the mountains peak, thereby prompting officials to shut down Ngurah Rai Airport from Monday until Tuesday evening.
The 3,142-meter-high volcano had been rumbling since August 2017.
On Nov 21, the mount erupted, releasing volcanic ash and smoke some 700 meters high from the crater at 5:05 p.m. local time.
Director of Air Transportation of the Ministry of Transportation Maria Kristi Endah Murni pointed out that at least 445 flights were canceled due to the eruption.
Source: ANTARA News