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Published on Friday, August 10, 2018

Tourists told not to travel to north Lombok and Gili Islands

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has updated its travel guidance to Lombok, officially advising against all but essential travel to the north of the island and the nearby Gili Islands.

The FCO's advice covers areas of Lombok north of the main east-west route from Pamenang, which passes north of the capital Mataram across to Lombok town.

This area includes the Gili Islands (Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air) and the Mount Rinjani National Park, but excludes Senggigi on the west coast and Kayangan port on the east coast.

The FCO said: "There has been a series of earthquakes and aftershocks to the north-east of the island of Lombok since 29 July 2018.

"These have resulted in casualties and damage to buildings and infrastructure, most severely in northern and western areas of Lombok, north of the capital Mataram, and in the Gili Islands, where there continues to be power outages and a lack of clean water.

"If you're in these areas, you should exercise caution, stay away from collapsed buildings, liaise with your travel company/accommodation provider, and follow the advice of the local authorities. Where possible, keep your family and friends up to date with your situation and itinerary.

"If you need consular assistance (for example, if your passport has been lost or if you're injured), call the British Consulate in Bali on (+62) (21) 2356 5200. If you have remained on the Gili Islands and now wish to leave, contact the local Tourist Police on the islands for up-to-date information on departure options.

"If you have essential upcoming travel in these areas or plan to travel for non-essential reasons against FCO advice, you should plan your journey very carefully, have robust contingency plans in place and check with your travel insurance provider.

"In other areas of Lombok, check any existing travel plans with your transport and accommodation providers before travelling, ensure you have travel insurance in place and keep up to date with developments, including through this travel advice."

The FCO adds that aftershocks have occurred and these are likely to continue, especially in the Gili Islands and areas of northern Lombok closest to the epicentre.

The latest aftershock brought down buildings in the island capital Mataram as well as in the north of the island which has taken the brunt over the last 10 days from two strong earthquakes

Rescue workers are still digging through rubble from last Sunday's magnitude 6.9 earthquake which has virtually levelled entire villages and caused the closure of three Gili Islands.

The latest strong aftershock, measured a magnitude 5.9 by the US Geological Survey.

The central government now puts the death toll at 319 from last weekend's quake but relief workers on the ground say it is more than 340.

Whatever the true figure, it is almost certain to rise, said national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.




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