A local resident gets into his vehicle near a bushfire burning near Busbys Flat, Australia on Wednesday. Jason O’Brien/ AP
About 500 firefighters were battling out-of-control Wildfires in eastern Australia that have destroyed up to 30 homes.
More than 40 bushfires were burning across New South Wales state. Temperatures were cooler on Wednesday after strong winds and stifling heat restricted firefighting efforts on Tuesday.
More than 100,000 hectares (380 square miles) have burned with the small village of Rappville, population 250, among the worst affected. About 50 people sheltered in a school overnight.
NSW Rural Fire Service deputy commissioner Rob Rogers said some people had been taken to hospitals with minor burns and breathing difficulties. The number of injures wasn’t given, and the extent of the fire damage was still to be determined.
“We’re just making sure we know what properties are damaged or lost, people are accounted for and making those areas as safe as we can so that people who haven’t lost their homes can return,” he said.
“There’s power lines still down, there’s a lot of trees falling down, so there’s a lot of work to do,” he added.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it was a dangerous situation. “Fortunately, there’s been no loss of life, which is something always to be thankful for, but there are remaining very serious threats today,” he said.
Arson was suspected of causing the Rappville fire that started Friday night. Fire service superintendent Michael Brett said “suspicious activity” had been identified in the area.
Rain is expected across northern New South Wales on Friday.
The 23-time major winner donated her $43,000 winner's check to the fundraising appeal for victims of Australian wildfires, joining many other Tennis stars, such as Ash Barty, Nick Kygrios, Novak Djokovic and Maria Sharapova, who have pledged money to the already months-long fire emergency there.
The mid-north coast of New South Wales was home to up to 28,000 koalas, but wildfires in the area in recent months have significantly reduced their population. Koalas are native to Australia and are one of the country’s most beloved animals, but they've been under threat due to a loss of habitat.
Australia’s most populous state declared its second emergency in as many months on Thursday as extreme heat and strong winds stoked scores of uncontrolled bushfires, some on Sydney’s doorstep.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry said the embassy would be in a temporary office while a permanent location is prepared.
The Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, Lt Gen Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, said that private parties and meetings are responsible for the rise in COVID-19 cases.
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