Bushfires in Australia, over the last few days, have picked in their intensity and as a result, New Zealanders in the South Island of the country woke up to red sun and orange skies on new year’s day.
Seven people in New South Wales and Victoria have died since Monday as wildfires tore through communities on Australia's southeast coast. Several homes were burned down before winds changed direction late Tuesday.
Victoria Emergency Commissioner Andrew Crisp told reporters the Australian Defence Force was moving naval assets to Mallacoota on a supply mission that would last two weeks and helicopters would also fly in more firefighters since roads were inaccessible. Australia is expected to face three months more of hot weather. According to Crisp, 50 properties were confirmed destroyed and several cars melted as a result of the dangerous fire situation. More than 100 fires were still burning in the state Wednesday, though none were at an emergency level.
Four people are missing in the region, even as conditions cooled. About 5 million hectares of land have burned nationwide over the past few months, with 15 people confirmed dead and more than 1,000 homes destroyed.
And even though communities in Australia cancelled New Year's fireworks display, Sydney's iconic display at its iconic harbour went ahead.
Two people in New South Wales are missing. Among his government's pledges was to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26 per cent to 28 per cent by 2030 a modest figure compared to the centre-left opposition Labor party's pledge of 45 per cent. The leader of the minor Australian Greens party, Richard Di Natale, demanded a royal commission, the nation's highest form of inquiry, on the wildfire crisis. If he refuses to do so, we will be moving for a parliamentary commission of inquiry with royal commission-like powers as soon as parliament returns, Di Natale said in a statement.
Smoke from the wildfires meant Canberra, the nation's capital, on Wednesday had air quality more than 21 times the hazardous rating to be reportedly the worst in the world.
The early and devastating start to the summer wildfires in the nation that is the largest exporter of coal and liquefied gas has led authorities to rate this season the worst on record and reignited a debate about whether Prime Minister Scott Morrison's conservative government has taken enough action on climate change.
The leader of the minor Australian Greens party, Richard Di Natale, said that if Morrison does not initiate a royal commission, the nation's highest form of inquiry, on the wildfire crisis, he will move for a parliamentary commission of inquiry with royal commission-like powers as soon as parliament returns.