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FCO advises against travel to much of quake-hit Lombok

Travel to much of the earthquake-hit Indonesian island of Lombok as been banned by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The advice against all but essential travel issued on Friday applies to areas of the island north of the main east-west route from Pamenang, which passes north of the capital Mataram across to Lombok town.

The 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 updated travel advice follows a series of earthquakes and aftershocks to the north-east of the island of Lombok since July 29 killing at least 259 people.

“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,” the latest travel advisory said.

“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 reported power outages and a lack of clean water in northern and western areas of Lombok together with damage to buildings and infrastructure.

“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,” the FCO added.

“Where possible, keep your family and friends up to date with your situation and itinerary.

“Aftershocks have occurred, including some of a significant scale. These may continue in the region in the coming days and weeks.

“Risks may be especially elevated in the Gili Islands and areas of northern Lombok closest to the epicentre.

“Buildings that may appear unaffected could still have been weakened by the earthquakes, especially in the Gili Islands and areas of northern Lombok closest to the epicentre, and may be vulnerable to aftershocks,” the FCO warned.

“Landslides could occur, including in the Mount Rinjani National Park.

“Consider the safety of your accommodation, your potential exit routes and any other hazards in the vicinity. If you have concerns about the integrity of buildings or accommodation, move to a safe place.”

There have also been isolated reports of minor damage to buildings in southern Lombok and parts of Bali.

However, Denpasar and Lombok airports and the major tourist resorts in Bali and southern Lombok are operating as normal.

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