The rains have arrived in Bali and are slowly but surely spreading across the drought-stricken island.
As the first storms have hit the Island of the Gods, officers from the National Disaster Management Agency have issued public statements asking residents and tourists to be vigilant for natural disasters over the next few months.
Bali has been in a state of drought for months. The majority of sub-districts on the islands have not received rain for over 120 days, resulting in the Acting Governor of Bali evoking a two-week province-wide emergency drought status from the 19th of October.
As the first rains have started to fall in Badung Regency, Gianyar Regency, Jembrana Regency, and Denpasar, officers from the National Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) have launched a campaign called ‘Ready to be Safe’.
The Head of the Bali Province Disaster Management Agency, Made Rentin, told reporters that there are 328 villages in Bali that are at risk of major natural disasters this monsoon season.
The main threats to public safety are flooding and landslides.
Rentin is calling on community leaders to take a proactive approach to mitigating the risk of natural disasters across the island.
This can include pruning trees, ensuring waterways are clear of trash and debris, and working with the BPBD to create disaster management plans.
@niamhteamvirtual My hotel room in Seminyak flooded. I woke up at 7 am to this! WTFFFFF #balifloods #balife #balinomad ♬ Oh No (Instrumental) – Kreepa
Rentin explained, “If there is a disaster that requires handling, please contact our call center at 0361-251177, or report it to [the Bali BPBD] Whatsapp 085792240799.”
He added, “Let’s be more alert and always prepared to face various potential disaster threats with the tagline ‘Ready to be Safe.”
Rentin outlined that residents and tourists should assess the conditions around them and prepare a plan for ‘self-rescue’ where possible.
@aprilmason123 When it rains it rains ☔️🌧️💧#bali #balilife #rainyseason #itsaflood #fypシ ♬ original sound – Sarah Cothran
He said, “For example, if we live close to a river, the threat is clear of flooding or even flash floods, then the self-saving strategy that can be implemented is if heavy rain occurs for a long duration and high intensity and there are signs that the river water is starting to rise (overflow), then don’t wait for the flood come but we can evacuate independently to a safer place.”
Calls reporting landslides, fallen trees, and localized flooding are already coming into the Badung Natural Disaster Management Agency team.
Badung Regency is the busiest area for tourism in Bali. The regency is home to destinations like Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, and Canggu, the regency also comprises a large section of the Bukit Peninsula including Uluwatu and Jimbaran.
The Chief Executive of BPBD Badung, I Wayan Darma, issued a public statement regarding the increased risk of natural disasters in the popular tourist hotspot.
Darma said “Reports of natural disasters are starting to come in, but they are not major and there are no casualties. Disaster management is still being carried out, but we also urge the public to always be aware of natural disasters in their surroundings.”
Tourists heading to Bali over the next few months should pay extra attention to their travel insurance policy regarding cover for natural disasters, particularly for damage or losses incurred by flooding and landslides.
In 2022 dozens of videos circulated online of tourist guesthouses becoming flooded as waters rose rapidly in some of the island’s most popular resorts.
Tourists should also be mindful of travel times on the roads during the rainy season. It is always advisable to leave extra time during day trips to mitigate any fallen trees on the roads, flash floods, or landslides.
Tour providers who run rafting activities for tourists on Bali’s most beautiful rivers have been issued warnings this week to seriously prioritize safety during this monsoon season.
In 2022 at least two tourists lost their lives during rafting disasters, and dozens more capsized and had terrifying ordeals out on the water due to flash flooding and unpredictable conditions on the water.
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