As the island of Bali continues its battle against the prolonged drought, the first localized rain storms have arrived in the province.
Over the weekend, a rain storm fell over Keliki Village and the communities around the popular Tegallalang Rice Terraces.
As authorities have been warning of, the first rains after a prolonged period of drought had triggered a landslide.
Speaking to the media last week the Secretary of Bali Province, Dewa Made Indra, called on the public, tourism manager, and tourists to be vigilant as the monsoon season approaches.
With such little rain across the province for well over 120 days, the whole island is at an increased risk of flooding, landslides, and storm damage.
Indra called on communities across Bali to start preparations for the monsoon season as soon as possible while being mindful to connote mitigation for the current drought.
Though the first rain has fallen in Tegallalang, in the center of the island, little rain is forecasted for the rest of the week, and the island is far from safe from the implications of the current drought.
Indra issued urgent statements to the public saying “We appeal to the public not to throw rubbish into waterways, gutters, ditches, rivers, and lakes and make efforts to clean waterways so that flooding does not occur in the rainy season.”
The first rains that fell late on Saturday 4th November in Tegallalang district triggered a series of natural disasters. The biggest of which was a 30m landslide, accompanied by dozens of fallen trees in Keliki Village, which many tourists must drive through on their way to the Tegallalang Rice Terraces.
The landslide made Jalan Pandawa impassable for many hours on Sunday, and the Gianyar Regency BPBD Quick Response Team was deployed to support the community in the clean-up operations.
The Gianyar BPBD Chief Executive Ida Bagus Suamba, told reporters, “Because the landslide was quite long, it couldn’t be done manually. So we lowered heavy equipment to the location to carry out handling.”
@aurahousebali Tegalalang rice terrace, Bali 🌾🍃 📷 Aripratama_putu #bali #tegalalang_rice_terrace #riceterracebali #balitiktok #traveltiktok ♬ son original – Aura House Bali
He confirmed that there were no fatalities or injuries as a result of the landslide. He added, “The fire brigade team helped clean up the remains of the landslide because it was dangerous if there were motorbikes passing by because the road was slippery due to a lot of dirt in the middle of the road.”
Tourists planning their visits to Tegallalang Rice Terraces in the coming day may wish to account for extra time, even though Jalan Pandawa is open again.
Especially since road closures are still in place following the appearance of the 70m sinkhole on the Tegallalang-Tampaksiring tourist road in mid-September.
The sinkhole opened up overnight, cutting the community off from its main entrance road to the village. The sinkhole also caused huge issues with traffic flow towards the island’s most popular rice terraces.
Nevertheless, access to the Tegallalang Rice Terraces is still open and direct from resorts like Ubud. It should be noted, however, that when it comes to visiting Tegallalang Rice Terraces, tourists should leave as early as possible from their accommodation.
Since Tegallalang Rice Terraces is the most popular paddy landscape in Bali, the area sees tens of thousands of tourists every week, and traffic does back up, especially during tourist rush hours between 8-10 am and 4-6 pm.
Over the coming few months, as a result of the huge droughts and wildfires on the island, Bali is bracing to experience flooding and more landslides when the peak of the monsoon rains hit.
Bali will remain a safe and welcoming place for tourists and the authorities are already working to put mitigations in place to avoid natural disasters.
However, tourists should double-check their travel insurance policies to ensure that they are covered for flooding and other weather events and natural disasters and be prepared to spend a little extra time on the roads traveling from one attraction to the next if the weather is poor.
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