The Jakarta Post
Bali and South Lombok are deemed safe for travelers, an official said. (Shutterstock/File)
Bali and the southern parts of neighboring Lombok, which were struck by a deadly earthquake on Sunday evening, are safe to visit, says Lilik Kurniawan, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency's (BNPB) community empowerment director.
"Over the coming weeks, people are still welcome to visit the two islands, but not the disaster areas. They can travel to other beautiful places in Bali and South Lombok," Lilik said as quoted by kompas.com.
He added that the beautiful beaches in the southern parts of Lombok could still be visited, while urging tourists to remain cautious.
Lombok Island in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) was struck by a magnitude-7 earthquake, which was also felt in nearby Bali, on Sunday evening.
"Bali is still safe, especially now that Mount Agung is on a level 3 alert. People only need to be more than 4 kilometers from the peak, which is the safest distance, according to data from the Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center (PVMBG)," Lilik said.
Mt. Agung most recently erupted in July, following alerts and earlier eruptions late last year.
Read also: Tourism Crisis Center established in Lombok
Lilik said tourists should remain vigilant.
"We have actually mapped out all the potential disaster areas in Indonesia. Tourists must always be vigilant, so that they are not caught out when visiting a certain location."
He denied rumors of an upcoming earthquake that could cause a tsunami, saying that the hoaxes and misinformation were intended to frighten tourists. A tsunami warning was issued but it was lifted shortly after the earthquake in Lombok.
Lilik added that the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) had an app, named Inarisk, which provided factual information on any potential disaster.
BNPB officials are currently working with airport authorities to promote the app so that tourists can gain access to the correct information.
"The app will provide instructions on what to do, where to go to and what sort of preparations are needed in case of a disaster," Lilik said.
The app is available on Google Play for Android users, with both Indonesian and English versions. (liz/kes)