What You Need to Know About Traveling to Indonesia After the Earthquake
An earthquake registering 6.9 on the Richter scale hit the popular Indonesian vacation islands of Lombok and Bali on August 5. Here’s what travelers need to know about the current situation.
On Sunday, August 5, a 6.9 magnitude earthquake hit the Indonesian island of Lombok, killing at least 347 people and displacing another 20,000 from their homes, just one week after a 6.4 earthquake on July 29 killed 17 people on the island, Reuters reported. Sunday’s earthquake also had effects on Bali, the popular resort island located directly west of Lombok, where two people died.
While the U.S. State Department didn’t update its Indonesia Travel Advisory after the earthquake, we’ve found the answers to all the other questions travelers might have about visiting Indonesia right now whether you’ve already booked a flight to Bali, were planning a trip there soon, or just want to help those affected by the earthquake.
Are Indonesia’s airports open?
On Sunday night, a spokesperson from Bali’s international airport told the Jakarta Post that while they had sustained “minor damage” the airport’s main runways were unaffected and that the damage would be repaired within 24 hours. Lombok International Airport has also resumed its regular flight schedule already, so that travelers can come and go without issue.
Is there a tsunami warning and will there be more earthquakes?
After the earthquake hit Sunday night, Indonesia’s government issued a tsunami warning but has since lifted it. Since the 6.9 magnitude earthquake hit on Sunday, there have already been at least a dozen aftershocks, including one that registered 5.4 on the Richter scale on Monday, August 6, the New York Times reported. Because Indonesia is located on the “Ring of Fire”—where 90 percent of the world’s earthquakes happen—there’s always a risk of another one happening.
#Didyouknow - Approx 90% of the world’s EQ’s occur in the “Ring of Fire”, which is the zone of earthquakes surrounding the Pacific Ocean. pic.twitter.com/IWM4StkBHz — USGS (@USGS) August 6, 2018
Are hotels in Bali operating as usual?
While several thousand foreign tourists were evacuated by boat from the Gili Islands off the northwest coast of Lombok, it appears that no major resorts in Bali were affected by the earthquake. However, before you head to the airport, it’s best to contact your property directly to confirm it is still open and did not sustain any damage.
Traveling to #bali tomorrow. Got fights and hotel all done. Can anyone tell me the scenario there post #earthquake #baliearthquake #Indonesia I would really appreciate a reply here. Thank you in advance — Rose (@CielEnfer) August 6, 2018
What should you do after an earthquake?
If you happen to be traveling anywhere during a large earthquake, plan ahead for aftershocks in the hours, days, and weeks afterward by avoiding damaged buildings and debris that could fall on you. If you’re near a damaged building—and potentially damaged gas lines—do not use matches or lighters just to be safe. Also, avoid beaches after earthquakes since the quakes can cause tsunamis and flooding. For more earthquake safety tips, go to ready.gov.
How can I help victims of the earthquakes?
Even if you don’t have any travel plans for Indonesia coming up, you can still help the people whose homes and livelihoods were affected by the earthquake. According to CNN, Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency says that currently at least 18 villages in northern Lombok are in need of aid after the earthquake destroyed around 80 percent of the buildings. The army is currently attempting to clear the debris and landslides, which cut off the roads leading to the villages.
#Lombok death toll rising. 600,000 people affected in total, with up to 80% of the population displaced in four out of Lombok’s five districts. How you can help: https://t.co/dsN1dgyEaI #IndonesiaEarthQuake #CharityTuesday https://t.co/9JeQCGulCU — Oxfam International (@Oxfam) August 7, 2018
Oxfam is already on the ground providing clean drinking water and shelter to an estimated 5,000 survivors, but said in a statement that “thousands more are under open skies in need of drinking water, food, medical supplies, and clothes.” There are also 100 Red Cross volunteers already on the scene and they are expecting another 140 to join them in their relief efforts.