13 February 2015 marked the one-year anniversary of the eruption of Mt. Kelud in East Java. This day reminded us of the tragedy that took away people’s homes, animals, and farms – which were their livelihoods. This tragedy forced them to move to a safer place and leave everything behind. Respiratory health problem also became one of their main problems, as smoke from the eruption clouded the area.
The catastrophic event also caused the travel industry in Indonesia, especially in Java, to suffer. Following the eruption, the volcanic ash disrupted both domestic and international flight routes, resulting in cancellations of travel plans, declining numbers of hotel bookings, travel warnings from some neighbouring countries, and closure of tourist destinations such as the Borobudur Temple.
Moreover, rising temperatures caused vegetation in the surrounding areas of Mt. Kelud to be damaged. Plants were covered in ash and lava, causing them to wither and die. In an effort to restore the lost vegetation, the General Manager of MesaStila, M. Isa Ismail Rauf, initiated a program to plant 1,000 trees in the surrounding areas of the resort. He admits that the impact of this program on the environment’s restoration is still on a small scale, but he hopes that other hotels and institutions will follow in their footsteps.