Australian 'mega-blaze': 2,000 homes destroyed; military buries 4,000 animals to prevent diseases

WION Web Team
New Delhi, IndiaEdited By: Bharat SharmaUpdated: Jan 07, 2020, 01:06 PM IST

File photo of Australia bushfires. Photograph:(Reuters)

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According to the Insurance Council of Australia, the damages are going to cost $485.59 million

Almost 2,000 houses have been confirmed destroyed in Australia's months-long bushfire crisis, as crews prepare frantically for more forecast danger. Temperatures are likely to soar again, fears heightened that two fires could form a new "mega blaze".

Earlier today, Australian firefighters employed cool weather as a tool to strengthen containment lines across 200 wildfires burning in Southeast Australia. 

Additionally, the Australian military today helped to bury 4,000 dead sheep and cattle to curtail diseases from spreading as the corpses rot.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is set to meet insurance and bank executives to discuss the ongoing crisis.

The fires, that have been burning for months, have razed more than 8 million hectares of land across Australia. 25 people have been killed and thousands of homes destroyed.

According to the Insurance Council of Australia, the damages are going to cost $485.59 million. This figure is expected to jump further as fires continue to gain traction.

Scores of people have been rendered homeless, with disruption in electricity and telecommunications, and also drinking water.

Rescue efforts in tandem with the military are ongoing.

Watch: Australia Bushfires: Scott Morrison announces new recovery agency

The PM recently pledged 2 billion Australian dollars to institute a ''National Bushfire Recovery Agency''.

"There's going to be a very significant economic impact, but ... we want to get money out into these communities as fast as possible," Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told the Australian Broadcasting Corp before the planned meetings between Morrison and financial bosses take place, Reuters reported.

High temperatures and winds are expected to return later this week, which could, in turn, unleash a new arsenal of bushfires.

"They are trying to secure fire lines where they can to try and minimise where these fires will burn again when conditions do warm-up," Rob Rogers, NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) Deputy Commissioner told reporters in a morning briefing, Reuters reported.

Bushfires have started to create a ripple effect on the economy. The gauge measuring consumer confidence in Australia fell to its lowest level in four years. Additionally, job advertisement data recorded the most drastic drop in seven months.

(With inputs from Reuters)