Mount Agungs status does not affect airport activities: Minister

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, stated that the status of Mount Agung, which still remains alert, does not affect the activities at I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport, Denpasar, Bali.

After attending a video conference, along with a number of officials at the Police Headquarters in Jakarta, on Monday, the minister affirmed that there were no significant challenges or dangers for tourists who wish to visit Bali during Christmas and New Year holidays, given the predicted wind direction that blows to the east and prevents the ashes from Mount Agungs eruption to not interfere with any airport activity.

"There is no problem caused by Mount Agung in all areas of Bali. Yes, there are difficulties within the radius of 10 kilometers from the mountain. But the wind is blowing towards the east, and therefore, it does not affect the Ngurah Rai runways," he noted.

He revealed that from the results of volcanology explanations, the status of the mount remains on alert, but only within the radius of 10 kilometers at the farthest, while areas outside these ranges are in normal conditions.

Therefore, he continued that President Joko Widodo had ordered for all closed meetings or other activities from related ministries to not be moved from Bali to other locations.

Following the announcement on Balis safe and secure condition on Friday last week, tourists should not worry about visiting the island, which is Indonesias most famous leisure destination.

"Once the announcement was made, there was a drastic increase in the number of people who booked flights and accommodations, and I think that is good," he remarked.

Furthermore, he considered tourism as the most dependable sector in spurring the Balinese economy, which is why its economic condition has worsened due to the eruption of Mount Agung, compared to the period after the Bali Bombing tragedy.

"In the last three months, due to the alert status that was given to the entire area of Bali, the economy has gone down, which is even worse compared to the period after the Bali bombings incident," he concluded.

Source: Antara News

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