Over 1,290 foreign tourists evacuated to Bali

  • Foreign tourists sleep on the floor as they wait to depart from the Praya Lombok International Airport at Mataram on the West Nusa Tenggara province on Monday.

More than 1,290 tourists, mostly foreign nationals, who were evacuated from three popular islets off the northwest coast of Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), have arrived at Benoa Bay in neighboring Bali, the Jakarta Post reported this morning.

The Gili islets have reportedly been experiencing an electricity blackout and lack of clean water since a 7-magnitude earthquake struck Lombok on Sunday evening. Some tourists were injured during the earthquake and required medical treatment.

It said five private vessels and one dispatched by state-owned shipping operator PT Pelni have been transporting tourists on the islets to Bali and the main island of Lombok.

“Some of them have been transported from the Gilis to Lombok, but they got stuck there. It was a bit difficult for them to get food or passage [to Bali], so we decided to transport [them] here,” Benoa Port authority chief Dwiyanto was quoted by the Jakarta Post as saying.

Association of Indonesian Tour and Travel Agencies (ASITA) chairman Ketut Ardana said SITA had provided free transportation to help the evacuees arrive at their next destinations.

“We’ve also offered a 50 percent discount for accommodations for at least one night,” he added.

The Bali Tourism Agency also provided free transportation to different tourist spots, such as Kuta, Seminyak, Canggu and Ubud.