Australia: Nearly 30,000 tourists at risk as massive bushfires continue

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Dec 30, 2019, 09.45 AM(IST) Edited By: Abhilash Mahajan

File photo of bushfires in Australia Photograph:( Reuters )

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The authorities earlier asked more than 30,000 people to evacuate Victoria state's popular East Gippsland region on Sunday

Thousands of holidaymakers and residents risked being stranded in a swathe of Victoria in Australia's southeast as rising temperature and new heatwave continue to fuel bushfires

The authorities earlier asked more than 30,000 people to evacuate Victoria state's popular East Gippsland region on Sunday, adding that soaring temperatures and gusting wings would trigger three large blazes, cutting off the last major road still open.

The residents and tourists in the area faced being stranded as it now "too late to leave", Victoria Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp said. The Victoria Emergency Management said that it was "not possible" to provide aid to all the visitors in that area. 

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In state's seven out of the nine districts, fire danger is forecast to be extreme. 

Neighbouring South Australia is witnessing "catastrophic" fire conditions in some regions as temperatures cross the 40 degrees Celsius-mark and storms bring damaging winds. 

The Country Fire Service's Brenton Eden warned that it would be a very "dangerous" day for people in the state, with lightning causing a number of blazes. 

New South Wales, which is the worst-affected state in Australia, is also likely to experience deteriorating conditions in the next two days as over 100 fires are burning in the region which includes 40 uncontained. 

The temperatures in New South Wales are also expected to climb on New year's eve as thousands traditionally gather near Sydney to watch famous firework celebrations. 

So far, 10 people have been killed in season's bushfires, which destroyed 1,000 homes and burned over three million hectares (7.4 million acres) an area bigger than Belgium.

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Hundreds of fires are burning across Australia, which is experiencing a devastating summer bushfire season triggered by a prolonged drought and climate change.

The bushfires have made Sydney and other major cities experience toxic smoke for weeks. 

This bushfire season is regarded as one of the toughest due to its size and geographical breadth, despite the southern hemisphere summer not reaching its mid-point yet.

 

 

 

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The conservative Prime Minister Scott Morrison has still continued his relentless support to Australia's flourishing mining industry and refused to take further action to cut down emissions. 

(with inputs from AFP and Reuters)