FOLLOWING the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, industry players in Bali sought to reassure tourists that they were well-prepared for similar emergency situations.
Bali Hotels Association (BHA) chairman Jean-Charles Le Coz said: “The ties between Bali and Japan are strong. The Japanese people have long visited Bali and we have always warmly welcomed them on the island. The news has been devastating to us.
“Bali is still safe to travel to, especially given the measures we have taken to ensure visitor safety in the event of a disaster like this.”
Le Coz explained that BHA runs its own targeted tsunami early-warning system, receiving data directly from the geophysics agency in Jakarta. It has also been conducting tsunami-ready training for its member hotels for the past three years.
While not widely reported, an earthquake measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale also hit some parts of Central Indonesia on Friday. The epicentre was 165km north-west of Sumbawa Island to the east of Bali, but was too deep to cause a tsunami, according to the Indonesian Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysical Agency.
Meanwhile, Garuda Indonesia reported that their flights to Japan were now running normally. Garuda corporate secretary Pujobroto said: “Narita airport was closed following the earthquake, but it was reopened by 7.00 pm Tokyo time, enabling our flights from Jakarta and Bali to depart as per normal.”