VOL­CANO PUTS A CLOUD ON ECON­OMY

Stirling Times - - Opinion -

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

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