December 21, 2019

Death toll rises as Australia’s bush fire rages

To contain coronavirus, Australia PM urges against big gatherings

Scott Morrison, Australia PM


One person has died and another is missing as wildfires continue to burn across three Australian states.

In New South Wales, sudden southerly winds fanned the flames of more than 100 blazes and fire officials said a man who had chosen to stay at his property could no longer be contacted.

Saturday had been an “awful day,” NSW fire chief, Shane Fitzsimmons, said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has cut short a holiday in Hawaii after being criticised for leaving amid the crisis.

Earlier acting prime minister Michael McCormack conceded that more had to be done to tackle global warming after many Australians linked the severity of this year’s fires to climate change.

Since September, Australia’s bushfire emergency has killed at least nine people, destroyed more than 700 houses and scorched millions of hectares.

Rising temperatures and strong winds worsened fires in three states.

In South Australia one person was found dead, another was critically injured and 15 homes had been destroyed about 40km (25 miles) east of the state capital of Adelaide. (BBC)