The Australian Government recommends Australians reconsider their need to travel to Lombok and the Gili Islands following the powerful earthquake which hit Lombok on August 5.

It comes as the death toll from the 6.9 magnitude earthquake that hit North Lombok Sunday climbs to over 100 and authorities work to clean up the aftermath.

The quake’s impact zone was far reaching with 2,000 tourists on the nearby Gili Islands evacuated by emergency services after the jetty was damaged during the event.

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Image: Melissa Delport – @trufflejournal

Meanwhile, Indonesia’s Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said he was continuing to focus on the earthquake crisis management this week.

“The crisis team is currently closely monitoring airports and airlines’ schedules to manage the significant traffic changes,” he said.

“I am monitoring the demands of tourists to fly out of Lombok and Bali through the airports and airlines, in Lombok and Bali.”

Indonesia’s Tourism Minister Arief Yahya

He said his team was preparing additional aircrafts and extra flights, as well as enabling the slots for these new flights from and to Lombok and Bali.

Meanwhile he is also appealing for support from the management teams of foreign airlines to give priority and fastest service to affected passengers who want to change their itineraries, try to reroute or get their tickets reissued.

“Please support their needs and waive penalties.” he said.

“This is an unusual situation, those travellers would not have asked for schedule changes if it was not because of the natural disaster.”

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National airlines are also preparing extra flights, including Garuda Indonesia which has dedicated 4 to 6 extra flights to support the crisis management.

Expert Staff of Access & Infrastructures for Ministry of Tourism Robert Waloni said Lombok Praya and Lombok International Airports were working to givie “prime service” to the passengers.

“Lombok Praya is even open 24 hours now to anticipate any needs including extra flights to overseas,” he commented.

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Image: Jakarta Post

Arief Yahya said he and his team were focusing on “monitoring and managing  airlines, airports and authority”.

“These are the main concerns of tourists in an emergency situation. And those are the top priorities we focus on.”

Do you know anyone affected by Sunday’s quake? Let us know below.