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Image: The stars at Nyepi. Credit: Youtube.

The suggestion to turn off the Internet for Nyepi has met with quite a stumbling block. Pasebaya, the institution that has been entrusted to monitor Mount Agung volcanic activity jumped into the fray yesterday.

According to the Chief of Mount Agung Area Pasebaya, I Gede Pawana, in an article this morning in balipost.com, if the Internet was turned off totally, it will disturb the 24 hour, online monitoring of Mount Agung.

Pawana said that his team is still in a neutral position right now and wanted to find out the full details of the suggestion. He did not want any disturbance on the Pasebaya volunteer job, because with the status of Mount Agung right now (level III), nobody can predict when it will erupt.

He also said that they had a responsibility to inform and educate the community and this must be performed as well as possible.  “All of our information is internet based, mainly using WhatsApp groups. We use it to inform headquarters and foreign observers. I will ask their intentions first before Pasebaya Agung takes a stand,” Pawana said.

The Head of BNPB Database and Information, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho also said that the disaster mitigation activities will be disturbed if there is no internet in Bali. But he was quite sure that even if the suggestion is approved by The Ministry of Kominfo, it would not be totally turned off. Institutions that need internet to monitor any disasters such as BPBD, BMKG, PVMBG, National SAR, Pasebaya and the other related institutions will be able to access the Internet. “The decision is with the Ministry of Kominfo. Just wait. They will give the best solution,” he said.