Indonesia earthquake: Is it safe for Brits to travel to Bali and Lombok this month?

Indonesia earthquake: Is it safe for Brits to travel to Bali and Lombok this month?

Parts of Indonesia were hit by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake yesterday, killing 91 people and injuring more than 200.

The quake was the second to ravage the popular tourist islands of Lombok and Bali in just one week.

With thousands of tourists being evacuated from the holiday islands and surrounding affected areas, is it safe to travel to Bali and Lombok?

Here’s everything you need to know:

Rescue operations under way as powerful earthquake hits Indonesian tourist island

Which areas have been affected by the earthquake?

Bali and Lombok, which are located within 179km of each other,  have both strongly felt the impact of the earthquake.

Bali saw damage to two shopping malls and a temple in Ubud, as well as minor damage to its airport.

Whilst the disaster agency is still assessing the full extent of the damage in Lombok, thousands of mosques, schools and houses will be among the thousands of buildings destroyed.

In the Gili islands, three small islands on Lombok’s north-west coast, crowds of tourists have been evacuated.

(Reuters)

Is there a tsunami risk?

Indonesia’s centre for meteorology, climatology and geophysics issued a tsunami warning just minutes after the earthquake hit.

However, the centre has since declared the warning over.

Will there be another earthquake?

Lombok has been experiencing more than 100 aftershocks since the earthquake hit at 6:46, and experts have warned to expect further strong aftershocks of up to magnitude 6.

Earthquakes are common in Indonesia as it is located in the “Ring of Fire,” an area in the Pacific Ocean of intense seismic and volcanic activity. 

Are flights still going to and from Bali?

Despite airport facilities at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport suffering minor damage, flights as of Sunday night were still operating as normal.

Flights from Lombok International Airport are also operating as normal, despite pictures of tourists scrambling to leave.

Some airlines added extra flights to help tourists leave the island, while about 1,200 foreign and domestic tourists were evacuated by boat from three Gili islands.

AirAsia said in a statement: “Flights to and from Lombok and Bali are operating normally following the earthquake.”

7.0 magnitude earthquake hits Indonesia

What are the Foreign Office travel warnings?

So far, there are no travel restrictions in place for Bali and Lombok.

However, the Foreign Office has advised those in the local area to “monitor local media, exercise caution and follow the advice of local authorities.”

Due to ongoing volcanic activity, the Foreign Office has advised against all travel within 4 kilometres of the Mount Agung crater in east Bali and within 7 kilometres of the Mount Sinabung crater in Kalo Regency, North Sumatra.