MFA advises Singaporeans to defer travel to Bali as situation on Mount Agung remains unpredictable

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An erupting volcano on Indonesia's holiday island of Bali has hit tourism operators hard, many are complaining they have been suffering losses as the peak season beckons.
Smoke coming from Mount Agung volcano on Bali, Indonesia, on Dec 1. PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Singaporeans are advised to defer travels to Bali as the situation on Mount Agung remains unpredictable, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said on Monday (Dec 4).

"The Indonesian authorities' alert level for Mount Agung in Bali remains at the highest," the MFA spokesman said in a statement.

It said the situation on Mount Agung remains unpredictable. Volcanic ash from eruptions could result in further airport closures and disruption of air travel at short notice.

"We continue to advise Singaporeans to defer travels to Bali until the situation improves".

It added that since Nov 27, MFA's crisis response team has been deployed at Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport and has worked with local authorities and airlines to render consular assistance to Singaporeans affected by the closure of the airport following Mount Agung's eruptions.

"Airlines have been mounting relief flights since the airport reopened on Nov 29 to help stranded Singaporeans return home," the statement added.

In Bali, while Mount Agung has shown a decline in volcanic activity, residents of nearby areas have been told to remain vigilant in the face of more potential eruptions.

For the past three days, visitors and residents of Bali's Karangasem regency have found relief in witnessing the smoke coming out of Mount Agung turning into a thin, white haze. Sometimes, there is nothing but clouds drifting above the volcano.

But the Volcanology and Geological Hazards Mitigation Centre (PVMBG) has reminded villagers to stay on high alert despite Mount Agung's calming appearance, as the agency continues to detect a high level of activity inside the volcano.

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