The Jakarta Post
Diffusing tension: Thousands of local residents encircle a Hercules aircraft after it landed at Mutiara Sis Al Jufri Airport in Palu, Central Sulawesi, from Makassar, South Sulawesi, on Monday. The plane’s return flight to Makassar was delayed because authorities were forced to calm residents who demanded to board the aircraft. (The Jakarta Post/Andi Hajramurni)
The Tourism Ministry has assigned personnel from the Makassar Tourism Polytechnic to monitor and gather information on the situation in Donggala and Palu, Central Sulawesi, after the region was devastated by a 7.4-magnitude and ensuing tsunami on Friday.
“We are monitoring the effects [of the disaster] on the areas’ 3As [attraction, amenities and accommodation) and tourists. I have deployed two personnel from the ministry to check on the tourists,” Tourism Minister Arief Yahya told Kompas Travel on Monday evening.
Read also: How you can help Palu earthquake victims
The ministry’s head of public communications, Guntur Sakti, said the earthquake had cut off telecommunication lines as well as road access to Palu and Donggala. These are among the challenges faced by the ministry in gathering data from affected hotels and tourists.
“Access to both Palu and Donggala is limited. There are security risks and telecommunications are down. Several generators are functioning. These are among the reasons why we haven’t been able to reach the location yet, so we assigned a ministry team closest to Palu, which is from the Makassar Tourism Polytechnic,” Guntur said.
The Tourism Ministry said it was also in constant coordination with the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) and the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) to gather information on the affected areas in Palu and Donggala.
The ministry posts updates of its findings on the Visit Indonesia Tourism Office (VITO) website. (asw)
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