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Jakarta Post

100 buses readied to anticipate Denpasar airport closure

  • Marguerite Afra Sapiie
    Marguerite Afra Sapiie

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, September 27, 2017   /   02:39 pm
100 buses readied to anticipate Denpasar airport closure Mount Agung looms in the distance as a woman walks along a street on Tuesday in Pewakerti village, Karangasem regency, Bali. As of 6 p.m. on Tuesday, 81,152 people had been evacuated to 396 shelters across Bali in fear of the volcano's imminent eruption. (JP/Zul Trio Anggono)

The government is readying 100 buses to carry passengers from Bali to the nearest airports in case Denpasar's I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport is closed in the event of a Mount Agung eruption.

The Transportation Ministry estimates that at least 5,000 air passengers scheduled to depart from Bali could be affected in the event of an airport closure.

The ministry said officials have been prepared to take passengers overland to East Java's Blimbingsari Airport in Banyuwangi and Juanda International Airport in Surabaya, as well as to Lombok International Airport in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB).

Read also: Mount Agung, center of Bali’s universe

The three airports are among the 10 airports being prepared to receive passengers and flights diverted from Bali.

"Of the 5,000 estimated air passengers that could be affected, 70 percent are believed to be [non-residents] while the remaining 30 percent are residents of Bali," Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said in a statement on Tuesday, suggesting that Balinese residents would not need to be transported to alternative airports.

The seven other airports being prepared are: Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Greater Jakarta, which has only recently been added to the list; Adi Sumarmo International Airport in Surakarta, Central Java; Komodo Airport in Labuan Bajo, NTB; Hassanudin International Airport in Makassar, South Sulawesi; Sepinggan International Airport in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan; Sam Ratulangi Airport in Manado, North Sulawesi; and Pattimura Airport in Ambon, Maluku.

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, accompanied by Klungkung Regent I Nyoman Suwirta on Tuesday, talks to evacuees who have taken refuge at the Balinese regency's Swecapura Sports Hall. Preparations are under way to mitigate impacts from the  possible eruption of Mount Agung.President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, accompanied by Klungkung Regent I Nyoman Suwirta on Tuesday, talks to evacuees who have taken refuge at the Balinese regency's Swecapura Sports Hall. Preparations are under way to mitigate impacts from the possible eruption of Mount Agung. (The Jakarta Post/Zul Trio Anggono)

As of Tuesday, more than 80,000 people living near Mt. Agung have been evacuated as rising magma and increased tremors have fueled fears of an imminent eruption. (bbs)