Bali is in the midst of a 14-day emergency drought declaration as 35 sub-districts of the island mark more than 121 days of no rain.
The consequences of the prolonged dry season are being felt across the province in the form of fires, both in landfills and on the forested slopes of the eastern part of the island. As the rainy season approaches, the risk of flooding has increased significantly.
The Secretary of Bali Province, Dewa Made Indra, has issued a circular letter to the people of Bali, via the Regents and Mayors of the island.
He is urging the Balinese people to begin preparations for yet more extreme weather events, especially flooding when the rainy season arrives at the end of the month.
Indra is calling on the public to take preventive measures as of now to help prevent flooding in villages, towns, and cities across Bali.
Indra said, “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.”
Flooding became a huge issue for residents and tourists across Bali last year, including in resorts like Seminyak.
@niamhteamvirtual My hotel room in Seminyak flooded. I woke up at 7 am to this! WTFFFFF #balifloods #balife #balinomad ♬ Oh No (Instrumental) – Kreepa
For many communities, following the major landfall fires at Sunning TPA, Mandung TPA, Temesi TPA, and Jungut Batu TPA over the last three weeks, the issue of waste management has become an all too visible issue.
With Bali’s biggest landfill sites not accepting trash for upwards of three weeks, new landfill sites have been opened, but there has been a sharp rise in the number of illegal dumps and waste being disposed of into the waterways around the island.
As of Tuesday afternoon the Suwung TPA fire was formally announced to be extinguished, though a cooling effort will remain underway for another week.
The Deputy Mayor of Denpasar I Kadek Agus Arya Wibawa announced on Tuesday evening, “At 7 o’clock tonight, we can throw away rubbish at Suwung TPA. We are currently in the process of arranging and backfilling to make it easier.”
Indra has also called on the public to remain alert to the risks of landslides and to start checking the condition of large trees, and trees that are located close to buildings, to assess if they need to be pruned before the rains arrive.
He also urged the public, tourists included, to always pay attention to the early warning systems and weather forecast warnings from the Center of Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics in Denpasar.
The BMKG Bali has also issued statements this week regarding the ongoing drought and the increasing flood risk on the island.
Data Coordinator for the BMKG Bali told reporters, “Consecutive days without rain in the region has now reached 121 days.
The worst affected areas include Bangli, Timbuktu, and Kintamani, all of which have been ravaged by wildfires since the end of September and are still blazing.
Though hopes are high that the first rains will arrive on the seasonal schedule, by the end of the month, the peak of the rainy season isn’t forecast to occur until the middle of January.
What does the increased risk of flood, and the current droughts mean for tourists planning their visits to Bali?
Travel insurance is one of the most important safeguards to have in place if organizing a vacation in Bali during the rainy season.
Tourists must carefully read the whole policy and pay close attention to the sections focused on natural disasters.
Policies should cover tourists who have experienced losses, material or financial, as a result of flooding, landslides, storms, and natural disasters.
On a practical level, tourists planning their trips to Bali in the rainy seasons should pack some waterproof clothing and have plenty of indoor activities on standby for when the clouds appear. During the monsoon season, it sully rains once, sometimes twice a day for 20-60 minutes, and then the clouds clear again. Sometimes, especially in the peak season, the rain settles in for the day.
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