Daily India Times
img 14
World

As monster bushfires return,Australia calls for another mass evacuation..

"It has been a long and deadly summer already in Australia, with bushfires that have wreaked terrible damage, but officials are warning the heartbreak is far from over"

Australian authorities urged another mass evacuation across the country’s heavily populated southeast on Thursday as a return of hot weather fanned huge bushfires threatening several towns and communities.

It's a very dangerous and dynamic situation that will confront us over the next 12, 24 and 36 hours," Victoria Emergency Management commissioner Andrew Crisp said.

The catastrophic bushfires have killed at least 26 people, destroyed more than 2,000 homes and scorched some eight million hectares (80,000 square kilometres) -- an area the size of the island of Ireland, an area the size of South Korea.

“If we evacuate, where do we go?” said Mark Tregellas, who spent New Year’s Eve on a boat ramp as fire destroyed much of his town, and one of around 1,000 locals who decided to stay.

“The electricity is slowly coming back but everyone is reliant on generators, and fuel for those is very limited,” he told Reuters by telephone from his house. “People have now run out of petrol so most in the town are now riding on bicycles.”

Scientists say the drought-fuelled blazes are being worsened by climate change, which is increasing the length and intensity of Australia's fire season.

Despite cooler weather and rainfall providing some relief in some bushfire-affected areas this week, almost 150 fires were still burning in worst-hit New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria, the huge continent's most populated regions.

Authorities have warned that the huge fires, spurred by high temperatures, strong winds and a three-year drought, will continue until there is substantial rainfall. Australia’s weather agency confirmed on Thursday there was no sign of that in coming months.

Firefighters have been taking advantage of this week's milder weather as they race to contain bushfires ahead of Friday.

In some burnt-out areas people have turned to the painful task of rebuilding their homes and lives, with the process expected to take years.

NSW announced Thursday it would spend Aus$1.2 billion (US$680 million) on restoring infrastructure in fire-ravaged areas. That comes on top of a separate Aus$2 billion ($1.4 billion) national recovery fund earmarked to help devastated communities

University of Sydney scientists estimate one billion animals have been killed in the fires. The figure includes mammals, birds and reptiles, but not frogs, insects or invertebrates.

Bushfire smoke has shrouded Australia's major cities in toxic haze for weeks, causing major public health concerns.

The smoke has also travelled more than 12,000 kilometres (7,400 miles) to Brazil and Argentina, according to weather authorities there.

Australia experienced its driest and hottest year on record in 2019, with its highest average maximum temperature of 41.9 degrees Celsius (107.4 degrees Fahrenheit) recorded in mid-December.

Agencies input
201 views

*To leave a comment please

Login

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular

Watch Now

View All Videos

Newsletter

Subscribe for our daily news