Bali is at risk of experiencing disasters caused by strong winds from 5-6th January, according to the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG). The agency has extended the extreme weather warning issued earlier this week.
The weather warning is alerting the public to strong incoming winds with speeds ranging from 6 to 46 kilometers per hour. When windspeed are this high Bali’s coastlines and open waters are particularly dangerous and pose a risk to public safety.
Cahyo Nugroho, the Head of the BMKG Region III Denpasar Center, shared that the winds are expected to travel inland from the southwest to the west at speeds of 6-46 kilometers per hour over the next two days.
He stated, “An appeal from the BMKG for the public to remain vigilant and be careful of the effects of disasters arising from extreme weather, such as floods, puddles, landslides, strong winds, fallen trees, and [storms] or lightning.”
Nugroho also called on the public, especially marine businesses and tourists looking to travel by sea, to be aware of the possibility of strong winds and high sea waves reaching up to 5 meters. He explained, “The height of the sea waves in the northern waters of Bali ranges from 1 to 2 meters, in the southern waters of Bali 1 to 5 meters, in the Bali Strait 1 to 3.5 meters, and in the Lombok Strait 1 to 3.5 meters.”
@kristinaradenkovic0 Bali👍🏽👎🏽?? #bali #expectationsvsreality #rainseason ♬ original sound – Matthew Rincon
The BMKG issued an early warning for potential rain accompanied by lightning in southern Bali and strong winds throughout Bali from 2nd-3rd January. This warning is now extended to include the 5th to the 6th. More bad weather is anticipated in the next week or so, with up-to-date forecasts published each day.
Disaster agencies in Bali have already responded to weather-related incidents, including fallen trees and toppled billboards in Denpasar and Badung. High waves and strong winds also led local fishermen in Kedonganan, Badung, to stay on land for their safety.
Officials in Bali are urging travelers to honor the importance of these weather warnings and act accordingly. Over the Galungan festival, local leaders have been urging communities and tourism businesses to proceed with caution. They are calling on businesses, communities and travelers to only conduct activities outdoors and in bad weather only if absolutely necessary.
Visitors are advised to avoid entering the ocean to swim, surf or snorkel. Tourists are also warned against traveling by fast boat. This week fast boat operators have been given the starkest example of why weather warnings should be listened to with the utmost seriousness.
On Tuesday 3rd January, tourists traveling from Nusa Penida to Sanur in Bali were traumatized by one of the worst fast-boat disasters in recent history. High waves smashed the fast boat just off the Gianyar coast. The vessel proceeded to capsize and sink, leaving 25 tourists and crew to jump ship.
Travelers have lost luggage, including essential travel documents. Terrifying videos and photos of the incident circulated online, with many experienced Bali travelers sharing their sympathy and calling on fellow tourists simply not to take the risk of traveling by fast boat when conditions at sea are so rough.
AKP I Wayan Antariksawan, from the Gianyar Police, spoke to local media and explained the order of events. He said, “Information was received that on Tuesday, 3 January 2023, around 16.50 WITA, the sinking of the Kebo Iwa Express fast boat heading to Nusa Penida-Sanur occurred. In the waters off Manyar Beach, Ketewel Village, Sukawati, Gianyar. Precisely about 500 meters from the Segara Ketewel Catur Temple.”
On Monday, 2 January, six people traveling from Nusa Lembongan to Sanur in Bali were injured as a fast boat was hit by high waves. Those injured included both domestic and international tourists. Once again, the fast boat was hit by high waves, which smashed the glass windows, shattering over passengers. The Head of Klungkung Police Public Relations, Iptu Agus Widiono, said that those who experienced minor injuries were treated at a local clinic.
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