VOLCANO PUTS A CLOUD ON ECONOMY
REPORTS on the ‘imminent’ eruption of Mt Agung in Bali have focused on the potential disruption to Aussies planning to spend their holidays on the popular tourist island. But hit the streets of Kuta, Legian and Seminyak and there’s more to worry about than whether flight schedules will interrupt holiday plans. The streets are far from bare but they should be heaving this time of year. The bars, restaurants and beaches should be packed. But they’re not. The ‘imminent’ eruption is damaging the Bali economy and putting a halt to construction, not to mention forcing thousands of people to flee their homes. Sand found at the base of the bubbling volcano contains tiny fragments of basalt, which is used to make building blocks or for the groundwork on construction sites. Given it’s not safe to venture to the base of Mt Agung, there is a shortage of the volcanic sand that is driving up the price and forcing construction to stop on many building sites. Talk surrounding the uncertainty of the volcano and if and when it might or might not erupt is rife in Perth, but get to the island and the locals have more pressing issues than how it will affect travel plans.
Denise S. Cahill - Editor