The people of Bali awoke this morning (12 September 2001) to the shocking headlines in the local morning papers telling of the tragic events that had unfolded over the night in New York City, Washington and the Pennsylvania countryside. Those connected via satelite with CNN and other international media had begun to follow the news of the terrorist attack on the U.S.A. in the late evening hours of Tuesday night. The overwhelming general reaction locally remains one of shock and horror.Some festive events held on the island on the Tuesday night were suddenly terminated out of respect for the dead and injured. Meanwhile notes of sympathy and calls of condolences and concern were received by many American's working in Bali's tourism industry.
Continental Airline Flight Recalled
Continental Airlines, the only U.S. flag carrier serving Bali, had already departed the island's airport for its next stop in Guam when news of the U.S. attacks broke. That flight was immediately ordered back to Bali as a precautionary measure and its passengers disembarked and accommodated at local hotels.
The aircraft remains parked at Bali's International airport pending U.S. Federal Aviation Authority clearance before it is allowed to resume its flight to Guam and Japan. According to a source at the airport, the majority of passengers were Japanese nationals destined for their homeland who are being rebooked on Garuda Indonesia. A smaller group of American passengers are enjoying an unexpected extension to their Bali holiday while awaiting a confirmation of when commercial air traffic will recommence in the U.S..
President Megawati's U.S. Trip Under Review
The Indonesian news services report that the planned visit of President Megawati Soekarnoputri to New York and Washington, D.C. September 19-25 remains under official review contemplating that her meetings with top U.S. officials including President George W. Bush and a scheduled address before the United Nations may be upset by recent events.
Indonesian Embassy in Washington Strongly Condemns Attacks
The Indonesian Embassy in Washington, D.C., condemned as "barbaric and indiscriminate" the U.S. attacks and mourned the loss of innocent lives, injuries and the substantial material damage that resulted from the attack. The formal statement issued by the Embassy "expressed its deepest condolences and sympathy to the Government and people of the United States of America, especially to the bereaved families who lost their loved ones in this tragedy."
Bali Situation Remains Calm
Despite schedule disruption for U.S. bound or U.S. originating passengers, the situation on the ground in Bali remains unchanged with all tourist facilities operating normally.
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