BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Chinese Vietnamese Burmese Thai Indonesian
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Asia-Pacific  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Sunday, 13 October, 2002, 11:26 GMT 12:26 UK
Bomb casts cloud over paradise island
Foreign tourists wait in the airport, trying to leave Bali
Many tourists decided to leave after the blast

Up at the Ayung River in central Bali, a popular rafting destination, there was a palpable sense of disbelief among foreign tourists and local tour guides alike.

They were trying to digest the news, filtering through from the surfing town of Kuta, that a bomb had killed many people on a busy Saturday night.


I've been working here for nine years, taking people down the rapids twice a day. This is the first time I've felt unhappy

Moon,
Balinese rafting guide

One of the water rafting guides, a young Balinese man called Moon, tried to mask how upset he was at the news.

Asked about what had happened in Kuta, he whispered a few vagaries about an "accident" and "people killed".

But he was worried about the safety of his family living in Kuta, whom he had not yet heard from.

He added: "I've been working here for nine years, taking people down the rapids twice a day. This is the first time I've felt unhappy."

Tranquil no more

Bali has a reputation as a harmonious island, with Hindus, Muslims and Christians living here peacefully.

This sort of thing was thought to happen on the neighbouring island of Lombok, rafting guide Moon said, but not here.

Two Canadian tourists lay flowers at the scene
Bali had a reputation as a peaceful place

Among the tourists, especially the Australians, the talk was of people packing their bags and getting on the next available flight home.

The Sari Club in Kuta, known locally as SC, was well liked by the many foreigners who chose the town as their base on Bali.

One of the reasons it was popular among tourists was because it actively discouraged local gigolos who cruise the town.

Reassuring tourists

The explosion at the club was so loud that it could be heard 25 minutes' drive away in the quiet beach resort of Sanur.

There, local hoteliers were endeavouring to reassure their guests that nothing similar would happen to them.

Visitors returned to their hotel rooms to find a photocopied sheet explaining what had happened the night before, and telling them that a state of security had now been declared throughout the island.

Bali TV was showing continuous footage from Saturday night's explosions, accompanied by mournful music.

Some of the scenes were graphic images of bodies wrapped in white, bloodstained sheets, while others showed people being treated in hospital for their injuries.

The Balinese have a tradition of placing flower offerings to ward off demons outside their houses and businesses.

But on Saturday night, it seems that those demons came to town.


Key stories

Eyewitness

Background

TALKING POINT

AUDIO VIDEO
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes