Officials from the National Disaster Management Agency in Bali have issued warnings for rafting tour providers in Bali as the island braces for the monsoon season.
In 2022 there were dozens of incidents where white water rafting activities for tourists ended in tragedy due to flash flooding and unpredictable conditions on the water.
The Head of the Karangasem Regency Disaster Management Agency (BPBD), Ida Bagus Ketut Arimbawa, has told reporters that tour providers and tourists must be cautious during this coming rainy season.
Arimbawa revealed that he and his teams are already preparing for landslides and flash floods in the area and that tour providers and activity leaders should do the same.
Arimbawa has confirmed that the Karangasem Regency BPBD has sent a letter to the Karangsem Tourism office to be forwarded to tour and travel operators in the areas. They are committed to ensuring the disasters of 2022 will not be repeated in any way in 2023.
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He explained, “Learning from experience should make you [tour providers] understand but the government, through its respective agencies, is still obliged to remind you through letters of advice.”
Arimbawa is urging white water rafting companies to prepare sufficient human resources and infrastructures within their businesses to ensure that all tourists and their guides are safe on the water.
Arimbawa added, “Learning from previous years, when it rains, there are more landslides and flash floods. Landslides are most vulnerable [to occur] in the areas from Muncan Village to Rending Village, along the road leading to the rafting locations.”
@nataliaerlina Telaga Waja Rafting Bali seruuu😆👍🏻 #whattodoinbali #fypシ ♬ Cake – Soft boy
Karangasem Regency is the most popular place to take part in white water rafting activities outside of the experiences on offer on the Ayung River in Ubud.
White water rafting in Karangasem Regency, along the Telaga Waja is famously more exhilarating and technically challenging than the popular sections of the Ayung River which flows around Ubud.
Arimbawa has called on all regency BPBD units in Bali to work together in anticipation of natural disasters in this coming rainy season.
He noted that across the regency teams should be ensuring drainage channels and rivers are clear of debris and that tree pruning is advisable before the storms arrive.
@samanthatyf White water rafting #skiptothegoodpart #bali @Bravery Yong @Liel Nicole & my fluffy dogs @leah ♬ original sound – Samantha Tanyifen
He has also issued warnings for tour guides who run treks on Karangasem’s Mount Agung. The island’s largest volcano remains active, and Arimbawa advised tour guides and tourists to keep this in mind.
Arimbawa said, “Don’t stay too long at the top of the craters of Mount Agung because of the threat of poisonous gas, avalanches, and slippery routes due to the large number of rocks that drift along the climb.”
In November 2022 a 43-year-old mother of four died during a rafting tragedy on the Telaga Waja River in Karangasem.
The shocking news broke just days after an American tourist went missing and presumed dead following a week-long search and rescue mission following a similar disaster on the Ayung River in Ubud.
Reports from the time outline that the woman died by drowning after losing consciousness as she hit her head on a rock and fell out of the raft. Her husband and four children witnessed the incident.
Over the 2022 rainy season dozens more videos on social media and anecdotal reports emerged from the island as some river rafting providers continued with their tours despite dangerous conditions on the water.
Although much of Bali remains in a state of drought, the first rains have started to arrive in some areas.
The Head of the Bali Province Disaster Management Agency, Made Rentin, has confirmed details of the 2022-2026 Bali Province Disaster Risk Study.
He has revealed that as the island heads into monsoon season, 328 villages will be placed on alert for flooding, 68 will receive high hazard alert, and 260 on medium hazard alert.
This includes villages in and around the popular tourist resorts in Badung Regency.
Rentin has told the public “If there is a disaster that requires handling, please contact our call center at 0361-251177 or report it [via] WhatsApp 085792240799.”
He concluded, “Let’s be more alert and always be prepared to face potential disaster threats.”
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