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The Fools on the Hill

Foreign Tourists Defying Prohibitions on Climbing Mount Agung

(12/30/2017) The Denpasar, Bali Search and Rescue Agency (SAR) is once again reminding the general public and tourist visitors not to attempt to climb the Mount Agung while the volcano remains at the highest Level IV alert of “awas.”

Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, the head of SAR-Denpasar, Ketut Gede Ardana, on Thursday, December 28, 2017, urged the public to heed the recommendations of the National Geological Disaster Mitigation Agency (PVMBG) that no human activities take place within an 8-10 kilometre radius (exclusion zone) of Mount Agung’s crater.

Unfortunately, a number of foolhardy foreign tourists are choosing to ignore and disregard the danger warnings for the exclusion zone and are mounting highly dangerous climbing expeditions to the highly active crater.

A group of Russian and Ukrainian tourists climbed he mountain last week and made a video of the crater. More recently, an Estonian tourist climbed the volcano to launch a one-hour paragliding trip down the mountain, landing near the Besakih temple.

Police typically briefly detain climbers after their descent and bring them in for questioning, but to date have not filed criminal charged to the climbers.