With the impending volcanic eruption, people are pointing fingers at who to blame. Fairfax Media has been told by a priest in Bali is blaming the tourist. Mount Agung is the largest and most sacred mountain in Bali, and according to the priest the mountain is angry due to tourists having sex and menstruating on the mountain. A group of priests have gone to the mountain to make offerings.
Paul Blackburn, Dari Indera Villas and Spa Managing Director, said “Although we do not agree with the priest’s view that tourists are to blame for the imminent eruption, we are praying for peoples safety. Tourists are important to Bali and Mount Agung offers some great walks that many tourists enjoy. The peak is sacred to the locals, but tourists are generally respectful of the Balinese beliefs and culture.”
The Balinese believe that Mount Agung is a replica of Mount Meru, the central axis of the universe. According to one legend that the mountain is a fragment of Meru that was brought to Bali by the first Hindus. The most important temple on Bali, Pura Besakih, is located on the volcano’s slopes.
Currently Mount Agung has shown heightened activity with 700 tremors in one day. Volcanologists have said that irregular lava movement has been noticed and it could erupt within a matter of hours or days. The volcano has also inflated, cracked and emitting white smoke. Thousands of people have been evacuated from the surrounding regions. The Indonesian authorities have imposed an exclusion zone of up to 12km from the mountain.
The last eruption was in 1963-1964, after being dormant for 120 years. The eruption was in a multi-phase event killing 1,600 people and leaving 86,000 homeless.
Blackburn went on “Mount Agung is 72 km from the southern tourist area and the worst case exclusion zone based on the 1963 cataclysmic eruption which the authorities have established is currently 12km. We do not anticipate that any guests of Dari Indera Villas and Spa will be affected, but we have full support available for the unlikely event that they are. Visitors should however check that their travel insurance covers the possibility of flight disruption that might arise should there be ash clouds following any eruption.”