Wed. Feb 19th, 2020

Australia assesses fire damage on Saturday, with another dead



Australia today assesses the damage caused by the fires that burned on Saturday in the south of the country, during a day considered catastrophic in which another person died, to raise the total number of deaths to 22, and when it is estimated that hundreds more homes They were burned.

The states of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia face more than 200 outbreaks encouraged yesterday by strong winds and temperatures above 40 degrees, with a maximum of 48.9 on the periphery of Sydney.

The head of the New South Wales government, Gladys Berijiklian, confirmed the death of a person due to a “cardiac arrest” when she helped a friend to contain the fire near the town of Batlow, about 460 kilometers southeast of Sydney

This death raises the balance of fatalities to fires registered in Australia at least 22 since September, 13 of them since the last week of 2019.

“Our focus of immediate attention today is not only to contain and control (fires) and protect lives, it will also focus on recovery. We know there are many displaced and homeless people,” Berijiklian told a news conference.

As of Friday, about 500 homes had been burned this week in the southeast of the country, mostly in New South Wales, which raised more than 1,500 homes destroyed by fires since September, with a cost exceeding 430 million of Australian dollars (299 million US dollars or 268 million euros).

“You can expect property damage to be counted in the hundreds,” added the commissioner of the Rural Fire Service of this state, Shane Fitzsimmons, who highlighted the drop in temperatures below 30 degrees.

Fitzimmons also expressed his “disappointment and frustration” for having learned from the press “in the middle of one of our worst days” of the decision of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to mobilize some 3,000 reservists and allocate 20 million Australian dollars (US $ 13.8 million) to rent seaplanes.

Morrison, very questioned about his lack of action in the fires and who has been beaten by neighbors in the affected areas, was again criticized after releasing this Saturday an advertising video about military deployment in crisis.

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