Deadly Fires Ring in New Year in Australia

As of New Year’s day, authorities confirmed nine deaths since Monday; five people are missing; many customers remain without power after 40+ power poles were destroyed; and at least 200 homes have been lost (with the warning those numbers will likely increase) to the bushfires raging across New South Wales and Victoria, Australia. East Gippsland has been particularly hard hit.

The unprecedented fires this summer in Australia have raged since September, fueled by drought and heat, consuming roughly an area the size of Costa Rica and killing more than a dozen people. And a third of NSW’s koalas, as well as a third of their habitat.

And 1000 people spent the night on the beach in Malua Bay in the smoke and ash, due to closed roads.

Donations have begun arriving to the affected area, but residents and vacationers are struggling without power, fuel, and cell service in some areas. Those waiting on roads to re-open are facing closed fuel stations, powerless ATMs, and lines for payphones and supplies. (A supply ship with 1.6 tons of food, water, and fuel has left Melbourne for Mallacoota.)

Keep Australia in mind as you begin your new year/decade; if you’re able to aid in any way, the Australian Red Cross and the NSW Rural Fire Service are just suggestions.

Happy New Year, everybody!


1 Comment

  1. Never forget — the common thread to the nightmare climate change denial in Australia, the US and the UK is Rupert Murdoch.

    Murdoch’s media machine got its start in Australia, no right wing politician can exist without his approval, and he has thrown incalcuable resources at stamping out any action to control greenhouse gasses.

    I think when the history of the past half century is written, it will be tough to overstate the disaster he has spawned. The wildfires in his birthplace will only be one portion of his legacy.

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