January 06, 2020

Wildfire-Weary Australians See No End to Unprecedented Calamity
(Bloomberg) -- Exhausted firefighters welcomed cooler weather and patchy rain in blaze-ravaged southeastern Australia Monday after a calamitous few days, even as authorities warn of a return to dangerous conditions later this week.With no end in sight to the months-long crisis, authorities are counting the cost after the weekend saw properties in small towns on the south coast of New South Wales and alpine villages in neighboring Victoria state razed by fires that grew so large they generated dry thunderstorms. Thousands of people have been evacuated to recreation grounds hastily converted into makeshift camps that are shrouded in toxic smoke.“There is no room for complacency, especially since we have over 130 fires burning across the state still,” New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney on Monday. She said that two more people were missing on the state’s south coast; the national death toll since the fire season began unseasonably early in September has risen to 24.Prime Minister Scott Morrison has faced criticism for his belated response in pooling national resources to combat the fires. On Monday he again signaled his conservative government won’t toughen policies to combat climate change, which has been blamed for exacerbating a crippling drought that’s helped create tinderbox conditions.On Saturday he announced an unprecedented level of military support to boost firefighting and recovery efforts, while on Monday after an emergency meeting of cabinet he said his government will commit A$2 billion ($1.4 billion) over two years to assist recovery efforts, focused on repairing infrastructure and boosting mental-health care.“Today’s cabinet was one of great resolve,” Morrison told reporters in Canberra. “It was one where we stood together and said, whatever it takes, whatever it costs, we will ensure the resilience and future of this country and we will do it by investing in the work that needs to be done.”Asked whether government relief funding and lost revenue due to the fires could jeopardize the government’s promise to return the budget to surplus this fiscal year, Morrison said the surplus wasn’t a focus compared to dealing with the human cost of the crisis. He said the economy’s position of strength was allowing the government to adequately respond to the disaster and its economic implications.Hard HitCanberra, an inland city of about 500,000 people, has been one of the hardest hit by the smoke haze that’s shrouded southeast Australia for weeks. Early on Monday, the capital again had the world’s worst air quality, conditions which at the weekend prompted the release of about 100,000 particulate-filter masks from the national stockpile.There’s little improvement expected in conditions that have already caused the cancellation of dozens of flights as well as postal services. On Monday, child-care centers were closed and shops and museums shuttered. The Department of Home Affairs has closed its Canberra offices until at least Wednesday, with non-essential staff told to stay home.The hazardous smoke on Monday reached Melbourne, the largest city in Victoria. Australia’s navy was deployed at the weekend to rescue hundreds of stranded holiday-makers in the state who had been forced to huddle on the beach at Mallacoota as a ferocious blaze bore down on the tourist town last week.About 200 homes have been destroyed in Victoria, and four people are still missing in the state. An airlift evacuation of 300 people from Mallacoota on Monday had to be delayed due to thick smoke.Key authorities in New South Wales and Victoria welcomed the weekend news of the deployment of as many as 3,000 army reservists, but voiced disappointment that they weren’t consulted ahead of the decision or briefed before Morrison detailed his response plans to the media.A 50-second advert about the deployment by Morrison’s Liberal Party was widely criticized for appearing to opportunistically politicize the crisis. It’s another misstep by Morrison, who was lambasted for taking an unannounced pre-Christmas vacation to Hawaii amid the crisis, and was filmed turning his back on a pregnant woman appealing for more resources to tackle the blazes as he toured a bushfire-ravaged community.The unfolding tragedy, that’s blackened almost 5 million hectares (12.3 million acres) in New South Wales state alone, has prompted millions of dollars of donations and support from international celebrities, sports stars, and the British Royal Family.New Zealand-born actor Russell Crowe, who is in Australia to protect his properties, had a statement read to the audience when he won an award at the Golden Globes in Los Angeles.“Make no mistake, the tragedy in Australia is climate change-based,” Crowe said in the statement read by actress Jennifer Aniston. “We need to act based on science, move our global workforce to renewable energy and respect our planet for the unique and amazing place it is. That way, we all have a future.”The resource-rich state of Western Australia will be completely cut off by road from the rest of the nation on Monday as fires and flood force the closure of main access routes, the West Australian newspaper reported. As well as the blazes that have affected major roads for weeks, the only highway out of Broome is due to close later Monday as Tropical Cyclone Blake bares down on the northwest coast.Australia’s Wildfires Hurt Nation’s Biggest Names Such as QantasOn Saturday, two people died in wildfires that destroyed more than a third of South Australia’s Kangaroo Island, devastating the national park and farmland, and severely damaging the luxury Southern Ocean Lodge resort. Penrith, on the outskirts of Sydney, reached a record 48.9 degrees Celsius (120 degrees Fahrenheit) Saturday, symbolic of the dangerous weather conditions that have fanned ferocious flames and sparked new blazes further south.While Berejiklian said conditions weren’t expected to worsen to those levels in coming days, there are fears two huge fires in the southern highlands could merge to become a “mega blaze.”Berejiklian said her state was in “uncharted territory” due to the length and severity of the fire season. An estimated 60 homes were destroyed in New South Wales at the weekend, meaning more than 1,400 houses have been lost since September.“The weather activity we’re seeing, the extent and spread of the fires, the speed at which they’re going, the way in which they’re attacking communities who’ve never ever seen fire before, is unprecedented,” Berejiklian said on Sunday.(Updates with Western Australia road closures)\--With assistance from Jason Gale.To contact the reporter on this story: Jason Scott in Canberra at jscott14@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ruth Pollard at rpollard2@bloomberg.net, Tony Jordan, Edward JohnsonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Russo-Ukrainian War

The Russo-Ukrainian War has been ongoing between Russia and Ukraine since February 2014.

Russia's war in Ukraine has proven almost every assumption wrong, with Europe now wondering what left is safe to assume.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Madonna’s most bizarre TikTok and Instagram videos of 2022 | Page Six Celebrity News
December 30, 2022
Ggk_RlohXuI
Teresa Giudice and Luis Ruelas stand by sex multiple times a day: It’s ‘normal’ | Page Six
December 30, 2022
AljKbtgRGnc
Lisa Hochstein shared video confronting Lenny Hochstein & girlfriend at Miami club #shorts | PageSix
December 30, 2022
j_JVk60r6EI
'Channel 5' Creator Andrew Callaghan Talks BTS of 'This Place Rules' Documentary Feature
December 30, 2022
dJit_YG5fjg
#brendanfraser on getting jacked to play 'George of the Jungle' after 'Airheads" with #adamsandler
December 30, 2022
bkwreE4eMRQ
Selena Gomez, Ryan Gosling and Julia Fox Top the List Of Variety's Best Red Carpet Moments Of 2022
December 29, 2022
pv2A-331cLg
Wiz Khalifa Joins Neek Bucks For Upcoming 'Shot Caller' Video | TMZ
December 26, 2022
TxkRr1jj-gk
Andrew Zimmern Says TikTok Recipes Need to Stop This Holiday Season | TMZ
December 26, 2022
DdlO88KfJoY
Top 7 WTF Moments of 2022 | TMZ
December 26, 2022
3JA-5abr6A4
Most HIGHLY ANTICIPATED Movies of 2023 | E! News
January 01, 2023
3-1K1VSRjys
22 Pop Culture Moments That Defined 2022: Link in Comments! #shorts | E! News
December 31, 2022
MNnChuudoSA
Suspect Charged With Murder in Idaho College Killings | E! News
December 31, 2022
aeonRlI5xL0
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur - Aston Villa
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Premier League
Nottingham Forest - Chelsea
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Coventry - Bristol City
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Blackburn - Cardiff City
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Huddersfield - Luton
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Millwall - Rotherham
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Blackpool - Sunderland
31
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Everton
31
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Wolves - Manchester United
31
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Brighton - Arsenal
31
Dec
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Espanyol
31
Dec
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Sociedad - Osasuna
31
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Bournemouth - Crystal Palace
31
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Newcastle United - Leeds
31
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Fulham - Southampton
31
Dec
SPAIN: La Liga
Villarreal - Valencia
30
Dec
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Valladolid - Real Madrid
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Leicester City
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
Birmingham - Hull City
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
Stoke City - Burnley
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
Norwich City - Reading
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Brentford
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
Swansea City - Watford
30
Dec
SPAIN: La Liga
Celta Vigo - Sevilla
30
Dec
SPAIN: La Liga
Cadiz - Almeria
30
Dec
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Mallorca
29
Dec
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Elche
29
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
West Bromwich Albion - Preston NE
29
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
Blackpool - Sheffield United
28
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leeds - Manchester City
27
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Nottingham Forest
27
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Bournemouth
26
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - West Ham United
26
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Brentford - Tottenham Hotspur
26
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Aston Villa - Liverpool
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.