Australia Wildfires: The Disaster That Has Left Thousands Homeless
Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam
Thanks to rampant deforestation, soaring temperature and strong winds, Australia is witnessing the worst-ever wildfire in decades.
Thousands of people have been left stranded and nearly half a billion animals are feared to have died in the wildfires, including thousands of the koala bears in their main habitat – the state of New South Wales.
Here’s all you need to know about the deadly wildfires:
- The wildfire is most severe in three states – Victoria, South Australia and Queensland.
- Almost 15 million hectares of land has been ravaged by the fires – that's equal to the size of Belgium!
- While the fires started in September 2019, the situation became severe around 25 December
- Forecast agencies predict that it could go on for several months with the temperatures expected to rise further.
Devastation in Numbers
- The devastation is alarming. At least 25 people have died till 5 January and thousands have been left stranded with nowhere to go.
- Ecologists at the University of Sydney have estimated that 480 million mammals, birds and reptiles have already been killed in the fire.
- Australia is said to have lost 30 percent of it’s indigenous Koala population.
Criticism Against the Australian PM
- Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been criticised for taking a family vacation in Hawaii at the start of the wildfire crisis, with many people complaining about the lack of readiness in utilisation of resources.
- Over 3,000 firefighters are on the frontline, with 31 specialist strike teams in place across New South Wales alone.
- On 4 January, the government called 3,000 military reserve troops to combat the bushfires, the first time that reservists were called up in such a large number "in the living memory".
- Due to nearly 40 fires, over 9,23,000 hectares of land has been burned across Victoria and 110 homes have been confirmed lost, 220 outbuildings destroyed.
- Morrison has cancelled his planned first visit to India from 13 January due to the ongoing crisis.
(With inputs from AP)
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