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When Mount Barujari Coughs

MISCELLANY, 19.11.2015

Even this situation can give pride to Indonesian people. If it is seen from various sides, Indonesia is so lucky to be surrounded by volcanoes. One of benefits that it gets is in tourism sector. One of areas in Indonesia that is people is West Nusa Tenggara. In this area, tourists can enjoy the beauty of sunset and get amazed by sunrise. This spectacular view can be found only in West Nusa Tenggara. West Nusa Tenggara has a mountain which is dubbed as “Mother of All Mountains”. It is called Rinjani. This mountain deserves to be called so because Rinjani is a mountain where climbers can enjoy not only sunrise, but also Lake Segara Anakan and Mount Barujari which is situated inside Mount Rinjani’s crater.     

Sometime ago Mount Barujari spewed thick ash reaching 3.5 kilometer. It makes West Nusa Tenggara Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency and Mount Rinjani National Park decided to close this area from climbing. Lombok International Airport was also closed for a while. It directly affected tourism sector, which is indeed the main sector of Lombok people. Head of Ditemui di Lombok, Head of West Nusa Tenggara Tourism Service, Lalu Muhamad Fauzal explained the impact of airport closure for tourism sector in Lombok……

 “Lombok is a place that can be accessed through various international flights. So the airport closure results in the decreasing number of tourists and occupancy of best hotels in Lombok. It also ends up in the decreasing income and supporting tourism commodities like handicraft, souvenir and other tourism services such as transportation and restaurants. We feel the impact in the economic field”

It is common that if a mountain erupts, people around it do not do activities like usual. But people in Lombok still do regular activities. It all looks normal. Head of West Nusa Tenggara Tourism Service then explained it again….

 “Physically we do not feel any impact from Mount Barujari eruption because the position of Mount Barujari is safe for people on Lombok Island. It is situated in the center of Lake Segara Anak, which is 9 kilometer. So the eruption doesn’t expand to other areas. Destinations in Lombok are still comfortable. Little dust may be seen but it depends on the wind direction. But basically, it doesn’t disturb life of people on Lombok Island”

There is no other word that can be said but amazing. Although posts are provided for people as shelter throughout the foot of Mount Rinjani, they are for emergency situation only. It was disappointing for not being able to climb Mount Rinjani because at that time four climbing lanes were closed. Voice of Indonesia then talked to the head guide of Mount Rinjani, Junaidi who said that Senaru should not have been closed because it is the safest alternative route to go to the peak of Rinjani….

 “The safe alternative is only in Senaru. We have proved it since 1994, 2004, 2009 and 2010. It proves that everything is safe for tourists, porters and guides” 

This is not the first time for Mount Rinjani and Mount Barujari to show their strength. This closure affects not only tourism sector, but also economic sector for people who work as porter and guide. On the other hand, people cannot blame the government. But the government should pay attention to people around the volcanoes. To avoid people’s disappointment on the route closure to the peak of Rinjani, the government should see it from two sides because every situation always has two different sides.

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