The 6.4-magnitude earthquake that struck Lombok - one of the more popular holiday islands in Indonesia - on Sunday 29 July 2018 and killed 17 people was apparently only a harbinger of things to come. Exactly one week later, on Sunday 5 August 2018, a more powerful 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck the same island. This time it killed at least 91 people and damaged thousands of buildings. The number of casualties is likely to rise further in the hours or days ahead.
5 December 2019 (closed)
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Today's Headlines Lombok
Reportedly 389 tourists are "missing", believed to be trapped in the area around Mount Rinjani in East Lombok. On Tuesday afternoon (27/09) the 3.7 kilometers high Mount Barujari, located close to Mount Rinjani, erupted. Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for Indonesia's National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), said authorities are doing their best to locate these tourists, find out their condition and evacuate them. Indonesian authorities have already evacuated more than 1,000 people (mostly foreign and domestic tourists) from the area.
In Indonesia, authorities temporarily closed down operations at five airports, including international airport Ngurah Rai in Denpasar on Indonesia’s tourist hotspot Bali. This decision was made due to the eruption of Mount Raung (located in East Java). The volcano’s level of activity has increased over the past seven days and is now spewing ash and debris high into the air, jeopardizing the safety of air passengers. Due to the shutdown of the five airports, it is estimated that thousands of travelers have been affected.
During the first three months of 2014, the total number of foreign tourist arrivals to Indonesia reached 2.22 million, a 10.07 percent increase from the first quarter in 2013 (2.02 million visitors). Suryamin, Head of Statistics Indonesia, said on Friday (02/05) that - as usual - most foreign tourists (816,470) entered Indonesia through Ngurah Rai International Airport on Bali, Indonesia's most popular island in terms of tourism. Other popular points of entry in Q1-2014 were Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (located just outside Jakarta) and Batam.
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While residents on the island of Lombok were still in the process of recovering from the deadly earthquakes in late July 2018, the area was again hit by a series of devastating earthquakes in August.
Tourism in Indonesia has posted impressive growth rates in recent years. This development is due to the fact that Indonesia has plenty of beautiful sites and cultural traditions to offer to foreign (and domestic) tourists, improved airline accessibility to Indonesia, and enhanced focus on promotional campaigns in foreign countries. Lastly, and not unimportantly, there have been no violent terrorist attacks in recent years. In the 2000s, a vicious terrorist attack always resulted in a temporary drop in foreign tourist arrivals.
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