“I will have to consult the volcano there”, was External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s tongue-in-cheek reply to a man asking her if it was safe to travel to Bali in Indonesia.
Swaraj’s reply left the Twitterati in splits with her tweet receiving over 11,000 likes and 2,000 retweets.
The man reached out to Swaraj on Twitter and asked if it was safe to travel to Bali from August 11 to August 17 and if there was any advisory issued by the Indian government.
He also tagged the Indian Embassy in Indonesia and the Consulate General of India in Bali along with his tweet seeking Swaraj’s advice.
“I will have to consult the volcano there,” Swaraj said in her reply. While some Twitter users were amused by her reply, there were others who criticised the man for asking “silly” questions.
“At least maintain the sanctity of the MoE, if she helps one and all it doesn’t mean we should put silly questions across…,” a Twitter user said. Thousands of tourists were evacuated from Indonesian islands after a powerful quake struck Lombok on Sunday, killing over 300 people.
Twenty-five Indians were also among those stranded and were evacuated in about 36 hours, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said at a briefing today. Some Indians were also among the thousands of tourists stranded at Bali’s international airport, which was briefly closed down in June following the volcanic eruptions at Mount Agung.
The Mount Agung volcano ejected a 2,000-metre-high (6,560-foot-high) column of thick ash and hurled lava down its slopes. Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 250 million people, sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” and is prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Government seismologists monitor more than 120 active volcanoes.