Australia orders the forced evacuation of residents and tourists before the horrible fire conditions
MELBOURNE: Australian authorities on Thursday declared a state of emergency and forced evacuation of residents, tourists and road closures in forest fire zones in the states of New south Wales and Victoria before Saturday's forecast of horrible fire conditions due to intensification.
Catastrophic flames swept the southeast of the country on New Year's Eve, killing at least eight people and leaving tourists stranded.
New south Wales government on Thursday declared state of emergency for a week starting Friday which would mean forced evacuations and road closures for people in bushfire zones ahead of Saturday's forecast "horrible" fire conditions.
Authorities have urged people to leave the affected areas if they can, as the rural fire department expects difficult conditions over the weekend.
So we will have a very long and difficult day of warm and dry winds, dominating from the north, to the northwest before a change to the south is issued. It will be a very dangerous day. It will be a very difficult day, '' said the Commissioner of the Rural Fire Service, Shane Fitzsimmons.
As of Thursday, NSW was fighting 113 fires across the state with more than four million hectares burned.
NSW Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian thanked the police for their efforts to ensure the safety of people.
I want to thank in particular the police, the fire rescue personnel who have ensured that where people can access the main roads, they can let them pass, even watching them closely, just by letting a few cars pass time. said.
We know that temperatures will be in the mid-40s in some parts of the state. We also know that there are many tourists on the move and allowing us to declare a state of emergency from tomorrow morning will allow us to ensure that we can provide safe access to roads when necessary, he said.
We can also provide safe access to roads when necessary, we can also provide safe access to and from destinations, as we have been encouraging people to return to their homes, to travel safely before what circumstances will be very difficult on Saturday Berejiklian added.
Berejiklian urged people to exercise caution.
'' We encourage people to exercise caution. We appreciate that it is difficult for some to access supplies, but it is much easier than yesterday and the day before yesterday, he said.
It is now known that at least 18 people died in one of the most devastating forest fire seasons so far, and there is a growing fear that the number will increase dramatically, with officials in Victoria saying that 17 people disappeared in the state.
As the catastrophic fire intensified, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Thursday that Australia's existing emission reduction policies will do enough to protect the environment and try to reduce the risks of forest fires.
Morrison said the Cabinet National Security Committee will meet on Monday to consider bringing more ships and helicopters from the Defense Force, as well as the longer-term response and some problems we have identified to consider among prime ministers. after the fires
Our emission reduction policies will protect our environment and seek to reduce the risk and danger we see today. At the same time, they will seek to ensure the viability of people's jobs and livelihoods, he said during a press conference.
In the state of Victoria, Prime Minister Daniel Andrews declared a state of disaster in large areas of the state.
Under the provisions of the Emergency Management Act, I have declared a state of disaster for six areas of local government and our alpine resorts, Andrews said at a press conference here.
He said that essentially the declaration is the first time that such powers have been used due to the unprecedented risk to life and property in the coming days.
The fires are unprecedented in size, scale and the risk they pose to so many people in the affected communities, he said.
He urged people in the East Gippsland region to leave forest fire zones, especially in the northeast of the country and in large areas of the High Country, and conditions are expected to worsen next weekend.
Andrews confirmed that Navy ships will also begin evacuation efforts in the Mallacoota region on Friday morning early.
A man's death was confirmed and there are serious concerns regarding 17 people who are still missing in Victoria, while in NSW, seven people were confirmed dead.
Victoria's deputy commissioner for emergencies, Deb Abbott, said people living in alpine areas of the state, as well as in East Gippsland and the Upper Murray region, had a 24-hour opportunity to leave, or were at risk of seeing each other. Cut by smoke and flame.
We want them to leave now, he said.
We don't want those people to isolate themselves like some of the communities in East Gippsland, so again I ask you to leave now, he said.
There are also areas of abandonment for the south coast of New South Wales, from Nowra in the north to the Victorian border.
The Rural Fire Service has issued declarations of tourist abandonment zone for four areas: Snowy Monaro, Shoalhaven, Batlow/Wodalga and the south coast.
The dangers of fires on Saturday will go from severe to extreme, once again, through fire sites and communities that have already seen a large-scale devastation, said Jonathan How of the Meteorology Office.