TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - More than 3,000 tourists from many different countries have confirmed their visit Central Sulawesi province to witness the Total Solar Eclipse (TSE), forecast to occur Wednesday (March 9, 2016).
This large number of foreign tourists will be accommodated in the hotels available in Palu and Poso, while some of them will stay in homes of local residents, the head of the Central Sulawesi Tourism Office, Siti Norma Mardjanu, stated in Palu, Saturday.
Many of the tourists have already arrived in Central Sulawesi and many more will follow in the next couple of days.
"In this past one week, a lot of foreign tourists have arrived in Central Sulawesi, and many of them have visited our village in Pakuli Utara," AR Hamzah, and youth figure of Pakuli Utara village said Saturday.
The tourists came to the village to check the location where they will observe the total solar eclipse Wednesday, he said.
"They will stay at hotels, and some of them will stay at the referential houses provided for them," Hamzah said, and added that the village heads have asked local villagers to let the tourists stay in their homes.
The much awaited interesting natural phenomenon of total solar eclipse is predicted to last longer in the Indonesian province of Central Sulawesi.
People in some areas of Indonesia such as Halmahera, Palangkaraya, Sampit, and Balikpapan, in addition to Bangka, Belitung, and Palembang, on March 9, will have the rare opportunity to witness the total solar eclipse, but it will last longer in Central Sulawesi.
For a few minutes, up to 98 percent of the sun will be hidden from the view in those areas, when the moon entirely covers the sun, leaving the suns radiant corona shining behind it like a crown in a matter of minutes.
"But people in Central Sulawesi will be fortunate to witness it longer as it will cross the sky over the districts of Sigi, Donggala, Palu, and Luwuk, in addition to Parigi Moutong, Tojo Unauna, and Poso," Central Sulawesi Governor Longki Djanggola remarked in the provincial capital of Palu recently.
The governor noted that the people and thousands of tourists will have an opportunity to watch when the sun darkens the sky over those districts during the day.
Local government officials and the residents have been ready to welcome, to serve, and to protect foreign tourists visiting the province to witness this rare but very interesting natural phenomenon, Djanggola affirmed.
Besides foreign tourists, observers from Indonesian Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), South Korea, and Jakarta Amateur Astronomy Association will come to Central Sulawesi to observe the total solar eclipse, he said.
"Therefore, we have designed and prepared a number of performing arts and cultural activities to entertain the visitors," Governor Djanggola affirmed.
Further, all districts to be traversed by the total solar eclipse are already coordinating with the provincial government with regards to their readiness, he added.
As the host, the local government must protect all the local and foreign tourists who come to Central Sulawesi, the governor said.
There had been no reports from any foreign embassy of its citizens wanting to cancel their visit to Central Sulawesi.
The momentum of this natural phenomenon occurs only once in decades or even hundreds of years, Djanggola said.
Accordingly, a number of hotels in Central Sulawesi are ready to welcome the arrival of domestic and international tourists to observe the rare and beautiful phenomenon.
"It has been a year since we have been preparing to welcome tourists who will come from different countries to witness the total solar eclipse in some areas of Central Sulawesi province," Santika Hotel General Manager Alain John Siwy remarked in Palu recently.
Santika Hotel is very supportive, and hopes that the tourists, especially from different countries, will get what they want while in the province, he said.
"The main purpose of foreign tourists is to witness the total solar eclipse that will last for only a few minutes, but they dare to spend with a sizeable amount," John noted.
Furthermore, the local government must provide and create a sense of security and comfort so that the tourists can enjoy what they desire, he added.
Numerous tourist attractions in Central Sulawesi have been prepared for the visit of tourists while they are in the province, according to him.
Many hotels in Palu and Poso have been ready to welcome foreign guests, and many of them have confirmed their stay at the Santika Hotel, Siwy noted.
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the earth and Sun. A total solar eclipse occurs when the moons apparent diameter is larger than the suns, blocking all direct sunlight, turning day into darkness.
The total eclipse in March 2016 will occur in the narrow path across the earths surface, with the partial solar eclipse visible over a surrounding region that is thousands of kilometers wide, beginning in Indonesia, and ending in the northern Pacific Ocean.
A number of points in Central Sulawesi, the site of the observation GMT on March 9 by national researchers and scientists as well as thousands of foreign tourists for the longest time span , which is an average of 2 minutes 47 seconds.