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Bali tourist town counts cost of Indonesia volcano

Wednesday, October 04, 2017 - 01:25

The Balinese town of Amed, once bustling with holidaymakers, has almost emptied of tourists after warnings that nearby Mount Agung could erupt at any time. As Sonia Legg reports, business has also slumped at many hotels, dive resorts and restaurants in towns around the volcano.

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It's normally tourists on the beach in Amed. But now locals cram into tents after they were forced from their homes. And some local businesses in Bali might as well as be closed. (SOUNDBITE) (Bahasa Indonesia) DIVER SHOP OWNER, I NYOMAN SARI, SAYING: "There are no tourists here anymore, it's like the Bali Bomb only worse - there aren't any visitors at all. Mount Agung is the culprit. The volcano was placed on high alert last month. (SOUNDBITE) (Bahasa Indonesia) AMED BUNGALOW OWNER I WAYAN PAING SAYING: "The guests are departing because they're afraid of the volcano, they're afraid of the eruption. Some are still here to dive and snorkel but our income is falling." Tourism is Indonesia's fourth biggest earner of foreign currency. And half of the visitors go to Bali. Its surf, beaches and temples attracted five million visitors last year. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AMED SNORKELLING INSTRUCTION, HOLGAR, SAYING: "Not so much people anymore because tourists are afraid and there's a lot of not-so-accurate information sometimes in the media. So you should come back to Amed because it's amazing, the diving is amazing here, the weather is great, it's all fine." But disaster management authorities are taking no chances. The last time Agung erupted in 1963 more than 1,000 people were killed. A 12 kilometre exclusion zone has been set up around the volcano 140,000 people have been forced from their homes.

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Bali tourist town counts cost of Indonesia volcano

Wednesday, October 04, 2017 - 01:25