Lom­bok flights boosted

Travel Daily - - News -

IN­DONE­SIAN author­i­ties have be­gun co­or­di­nat­ing ad­di­tional flights from Lom­bok as thou­sands of vis­i­tors seek to leave the is­land af­ter its dev­as­tat­ing earth­quake.

The coun­try’s Tourism Min­is­ter Arief Yahya said ex­tra flights and land­ing slots were be­ing co­or­di­nated with lo­cal car­ri­ers, in­clud­ing Garuda In­done­sia which was plan­ning be­tween four and six ad­di­tional ser­vices to as­sist with evac­u­a­tions.

He also ap­pealed to in­ter­na­tional car­ri­ers to pri­ori­tise pas­sen­gers af­fected by the dis­as­ter, say­ing “please sup­port their needs and waive penal­ties”.

Evac­u­a­tion ef­forts con­tin­ued this morn­ing among the Gili Is­lands off Lom­bok’s north-west coast, where thou­sands of vis­i­tors were be­ing re­trieved by boat.

Visit In­done­sia said three key ar­eas had been im­pacted by Sun evening’s quake - the Gili Is­lands, the west­ern Seng­gigi re­gion and north­ern Lom­bok.

“Ho­tels in the af­fected ar­eas are de­ter­min­ing dam­age and guests have been evac­u­ated as a pre­cau­tion,” a Visit In­done­sia spokesper­son said.

“Any pas­sen­gers with book­ings are en­cour­aged to check with the ho­tel con­cerned.”

Other ar­eas in Lom­bok’s south had been largely un­af­fected and were open for busi­ness, the spokesper­son said.

Prop­er­ties in­clud­ing the Novo­tel Lom­bok Re­sort and Vil­las, Sem­piak Vil­las and the Se­long Selo Re­sort were still op­er­a­tional.

The Bali Tourism Board said the is­land re­mained safe, al­though the quake had been felt through­out Bali and had caused dam­age to sev­eral build­ings in­clud­ing two shop­ping malls.

DFAT yes­ter­day up­dated its travel warn­ing for In­done­sia to high­light the Lom­bok earth­quake, say­ing trav­ellers should check with their air­lines and ac­com­mo­da­tion provider be­fore trav­el­ling there.

Those in the coun­try should mon­i­tor me­dia and fol­low the in­struc­tions of lo­cal author­i­ties.

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