Strong winds and high waves, the result of the Narelle tropical cyclone, have affected many areas across Bali as, causing the island’s ferry ports in Gilimanuk and Padang Bai to stop operations yesterday.
Strong winds have also caused severe damage to public facilities, as well as houses and trees in Gianyar, Denpasar, Badung, Tabanan and Bangli.
Wayan Suardana, head of Bali Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), predicted that the tropical cyclone would now head toward Western Australia.
The Narelle tropical cyclone is the eighth tropical cyclone to form during this cyclone season in the southern Indian Ocean.
In Indonesia, the cyclone is centered south of Bali’s closest neighbor, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), with winds of up to 40 kilometers per hour.
In Selemadeg village in Tabanan regency, a woman identified as Anak Agung Ayu Sri Suarti, reportedly died after a large tree fell on her.
Juvian, a member of staff at the Bali Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Agency, said that a number of officials had tried to evacuate Suarti and provide emergency care but she died on the way to Tabanan regional hospital on Tuesday afternoon.
Trees have also damaged a temple, family homes and other buildings in Denpasar.
“This is a normal situation for the period between January and February when tropical cyclones frequently occur in the Indian Ocean affecting weather conditions all over Indonesia,” Suardana said.
He warned people who live in the coastal areas of the southern part of Bali to remain vigilant.
“The waves may reach up to 5 meters high, endangering fisherman and those who want to take water transportation,” he said.
Tourists who planned to take part in water sports, such as diving, surfing and snorkeling, must be very careful due to the heavy rains, strong winds and high waves, he said.
Due to the rough sea, Gilimanuk ferry port in Jembrana (connecting Java and Bali) and Padang Bai ferry port in Karangasem (connecting Bali and NTB) have had to be closed temporarily. Three traditional fishing and crossing ports in Klungkung regency were also closed, forcing hundreds of residents to wait for transport for hours.
Local fishermen also stayed home over the last few days because of the high waves.
People living on the remote islands of Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan in Klungkung regency have been isolated as there were no vessels heading to the islets to bring basic food and supplies to the local residents.
In downtown Denpasar, police and officials from the Bali Sanitation and Landscape Agency were ready to anticipate any possible damage caused by the strong winds on Wednesday afternoon.
I Nyoman Wiryajaya, head of data and climatology at BMKG, explained that the peak wet season in Bali would arrive in the middle of January and would intensify in February.
“People must be on alert for the possible strong winds, torrential rains and rough seas during this season,” Wiryajaya said.
On Thursday (today), he predicted that most of Bali’s waters would have waves of up to 5 meters high.