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
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Vicki Gunvalson accuses ex Steve Lodge of cheating, lying and using her | Page Six Celebrity News
October 15, 2021
3RB_p9_FZ-Y
Katey Sagal hit by car while crossing the street, taken to hospital | Page Six Celebrity News
October 15, 2021
5kT2IIVMy0o
Erika Jayne’s threat to Sutton Stracke has been revealed & more from this week on Bravo | Page Six
October 15, 2021
X0y9D9aOBDQ
Necessary Realness: Will Morgan Survive the Dalgona Game? | E! News
October 16, 2021
QZJoaCiO3sA
Selena Gomez Says This Social Media Move "Saved My Life" | E! News
October 15, 2021
6DoqMGH3bRQ
Salma Hayek Explains Why Angelina Jolie SMASHED Her Face Into Cake | E! News
October 15, 2021
gTZPVmxRMfU
Kim Kardashian and Kanye Likely Won't Reconcile, She Now Owns Family Home | TMZ TV
October 15, 2021
attkYidh_Z8
Joe Rogan Stands Up to CNN | The TMZ Podcast
October 15, 2021
WgmPhCjlGoc
'The Masked Singer' Jester Costume Bulge Too Hot for TV | TMZ TV
October 15, 2021
0lnS7Gmu7O8
Jamie Lee Curtis talks 'Halloween Kills' and Laurie Strode's Legacy
October 14, 2021
-xyHjfTA2SY
Nicholas Braun, Jeremy Strong, Brian Cox and the cast of ‘Succession’ on the Red Carpet
October 14, 2021
O19yMBvhR48
Dave Chappelle Ignites Controversy, 'Halloween Kills' Hits Theaters | The Take
October 14, 2021
xOIUz0WuFS8
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
19
Nov
ASIAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group H
Sydney FC - Shanghai SIPG
17
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Spain - Germany
14
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Germany - Ukraine
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Liverpool
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - Aston Villa
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Valencia - Real Madrid
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Verona
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Bromwich Albion - Tottenham Hotspur
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Bologna - Napoli
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Genoa - Roma
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Inter Milan
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - Juventus
08
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayer Leverkusen - Borussia Monchengladbach
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leicester City - Wolves
08
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Wolfsburg - Hoffenheim
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Valladolid - Athletic Bilbao
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Levante - Alaves
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Sociedad - Granada CF
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Torino - Crotone
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Villarreal
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund - Bayern Munich
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Everton - Manchester United
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Sheffield United
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Cadiz
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Real Betis
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Augsburg - Hertha Berlin
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Stuttgart - Eintracht Frankfurt
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
RB Leipzig - SC Freiburg
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Rotherham - Preston NE
07
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Parma - Fiorentina
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Watford - Coventry
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Norwich City - Swansea City
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Blackburn - QPR
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Derby County - Barnsley
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Huddersfield - Luton
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Nottingham Forest - Wycombe Wanderers
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Fulham
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Sheffield Wednesday - Millwall
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Brentford - Middlesbrough
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Birmingham - Bournemouth
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Sevilla - Osasuna
07
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Benevento - Spezia
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Crystal Palace - Leeds
04
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group G
Ferencvaros - Juventus
04
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group G
Barcelona - Dynamo K.
03
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group A
Salzburg - Bayern Munich
03
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group D
Atalanta - 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.