Lombok flights boosted
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.