As a small island province, Bali is vulnerable to natural disasters. Home to not one but two active volcanos and regularly disturbed by seismic activity, natural disaster management is of the utmost importance on the Island of the Gods.
Speaking to reporters, the Executive Head of the Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD), I made Rentin, is calling on the authorities to issue more funding and resource support for disaster management on the island.
Rentin says that more early warning systems are needed in the communities surrounding Mount Agung, and considerably more tsunami shelters and warning systems must be put in place around the island’s coast.
Rentin said, “We still need to optimize the early warning system we already have. The area of Bali is 0.26% of the whole of Indonesia. Ideally, 41 tsunami siren points must be installed.” He acknowledges that so far, there are only nine siren points in place in Bali.
Seminyak Tsunami Shelter…♬ Rindik Bali Salak Gula Dangdut – Siduri Gen
He added, “We now only have nine, so we are moving to meet the standard.” The existing tsunami siren points are in Sanur, Tanjung Beanoa, Nusa Dua, Kuta, Tabanan, and Seririt.
This means that there are no early warning systems or sirens in place in Bali’s top tourist destinations like Canggu, Seminyak, Legian, and Uluwatu. While the siren call from Kuta certainly travels, Rentin’s request for more support is important.
Rentin confirmed that the Regional Disaster Management Agency has worked with the regency and village-based disaster relief agencies to finalize the digital disaster information system, which includes early warning systems for both tsunamis and the island’s most active volcano, Mount Agung.
@aljazeeraenglish 5 things to do if an #earthquake strikes. #earthquake #disaster #safetytips #turkey #syria #news ♬ original sound – Al Jazeera English
In terms of early warning systems for Mount Agung, Rentin said, “We only have eight early warning points for the eruption of Mount Api Agung; of course, it is still far from sufficient.”
Part of the reason why Governor Koster has recently banned all hiking activities on Bali’s mountains is due to the spiritual belief that if the land is not respected, the spirits will issue their warnings to the island through a natural disaster like a volcano eruption, earthquake, or tsunami.
According to Rentin, support for the development of more early warning systems and better disaster management preparedness in Bali must come from a variety of sources.
He said that he is calling on the central government, the national meteorology and climatology agency, and the Ministry of Public Works for a collaborative approach to implementing more early warning systems across Bali.
@eles.where Mountains in Bali🇮🇩 Mount Agung is the highest peak of Bali, 3031m and last erupted June 13th 2019🌋 #bali #indonesia #travel #volcano #sunset #cantik #lucu #mountain #views #view #sun #summer #mountagung #canggu ♬ original sound – eles.where
Rentin is also exploring the potential to call on big businesses in Bali to consider supporting disaster management preparedness through their corporate social responsibility programs.
Rentin’s calls for more support in ensuring public safety in natural disasters in Bali come just days after the Indonesian Minster for Tourism and Creative Economies officially signed an agreement on the code for the protection of tourists with the United Nations.
The document lays out the commitment to guarantee the safety of tourists in Indonesia in alignment with the standards set by the United Nations World Tourism Organization.
Minster Uno told reporters at the signing in Cambodia late last week that the agreement will help keep tourists safe and protect the culture and traditions in Indonesia.
Minster Uno said, “[these] rules are reciprocal. So apart from receiving protection, [tourist] must also comply with the agreement to respect local customs, culture, and wisdom.”
He added, “This statement of compliance is our joint commitment to provide security and safety for tourists and ensure the integrity of our customs and traditions.
The International Code for the Protection of Tourists was drawn up by the United Nations World Tourism Organization.
It has been designed to “provide all tourism stakeholders, both in public and the private sector, with practical guidance on how to assist tourists affected by emergencies, including but not limited to health emergencies, and help develop and harmonize consumer protection standards through a more transparent and efficient framework”.
The Indonesian Tourism Board have recently released an infographic sharing top tips with tourists about how to stay ‘savvy’ and are during their trip to Bali. Read all about it here.
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