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Australia The World Saw This Australian Beach Town Burn. It’s Still Cut Off.

15:30  14 january  2020
15:30  14 january  2020 Source:   msn.com

'Where are those people now': Comedian Celeste Barber shames billionaires who donated to Notre Dame for not giving money to Australia's bushfire crisis

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"It should have been daylight but it was black like midnight and we could hear the fire roaring," said The fire swept through the town destroying numerous buildings, but was kept back from the shore by the The smoke is now so thick it ' s almost impossible to drive. The ground is blanketed in ash and

Australia 's PM Scott Morrison had to cut short a visit to a town ravaged by fire after angry locals heckled him over the government's response. Thousands of people are already fleeing a vast "tourist leave zone" in NSW, with supplies running low in some cut - off towns . It ' s been called "the largest

Video provided by AAP

Flying with gut-churning force over miles of charred bush land, the military plane had a vital load to deliver: 500 gallons of fuel, to help power a town cut off from the world.

On the ground below, residents had become desperate for the suddenly scarce resource, and some were taking their frustration out on gas station attendants forced to ration it. With the only road in or out blocked for two weeks by fallen and smoldering trees, the usually laid-back beach town, Mallacoota, had grown tense with the hardships that come with isolation.

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The 2019–20 Australian bushfire season is a series of bushfires, also known around the world as wildfires, that are currently burning across Australia , predominantly in the south-east.

“ It ’ s an atomic bomb.” For Australia ’s wildlife, the toll has been incalculable. About 87 percent of Australia ’s wildlife is endemic to the country, which means The arrivals said they were thankful to be safely ashore. A man who had stepped off a bus in Somerville embraced a woman who had come to

“People are starting to get angry and frustrated with the lack of supplies, being stuck here and the power is still off,” said Tracey Hargreaves, the owner of a cafe on the main street. To keep business going, she has had to serve long-life milk and carefully preserve her pastries. “It’s surreal,” she said.

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Since wildfires began ravaging huge expanses of Australia late last year, about a dozen communities have become isolated to some degree, the authorities say. Some are completely cut off, accessible only by planes or helicopters, which have been dropping water, food and satellite phones, and even carrots for wildlife. Along the roads to others, arborists and engineers are working shifts of up to 14 hours to remove “killer trees” that are at risk of falling.

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It ’ s been arranged for armed guards to patrol the compound throughout the series. “They will have them surrounding the area so there is no chance of any Shocking reports have previously suggested the gang has members as young as 12, and has issued orders to cut off victims' faces and send them to

For Rachel Aradia, it hit when she saw the panic on her coworkers’ faces as she walked into work at If Paradise the community still exists, the town that once was is gone. Until last week, it was a In a time where the world has been turned upside down, those human bonds are crucial for staying sane.

The crisis, which has stranded thousands of Australians, exemplifies the growing danger of inhabiting the world’s forests as climate change makes wildfires more frequent and intense.

Pictures: Australia's bushfire emergency

Thick smoke from the East Gippsland bushfires still covers areas of the region on January 13, 2020 near Nicholson, Australia.  The death toll from Victorian bushfires has now risen to four, following the death of a firefighter on Saturday near Omeo. Fires in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia have burned more than 10 million hectares of land in recent months. 21 people have been killed and thousands of homes and buildings have been destroyed.

“More people are living in high-risk bushfire areas, emergency services are stretched and the climate is rapidly changing,” said Andrew Gissing, an emergency management expert with the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Center, a nonprofit supported by the Australian government.

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It is constantly subsiding with smoke usually billowing out from the pits and separations that will continue to get wider and deeper day-by-day. There is a time capsule that still lies buried in the ground in Centralia. This was set up as a memorial for the working class town to be opened in 2016

Dickman says: "In central Australia we've seen goannas coming out from their burrows after a fire and picking off injured animals – singed birds, young A typical example of how people are affected is described by the 2016 fire at Yarloop in Western Australia . It virtually destroyed the town (population

“Future crises are inevitable,” he added. “We must consider the prospect of a monstrous bushfire season, the likes of which we’ve never seen.”

A sense of that dystopian future has already come to Mallacoota, where images of thousands of people evacuating to a beach and a child leading his family to safety under amber skies focused worldwide attention on Australia’s calamitous bushfires months after they began.

In normal times, the town, surrounded by lush eucalyptus trees, is a haven for wildlife, including kangaroos and koalas. It has a magical quality: Many people return year after year for their summer vacations, and on New Year’s Eve people often take a dip in the lake, which lights up with bioluminescent microorganisms.

But this year, as one decade gave way to another, a fierce inferno swept through the community, destroying homes and severing power lines. Four days later, more than 1,000 people and their pets boarded naval ships that took them down the coast to safety. Many others, residents and vacationers alike, decided to remain.

Help has come slowly by air and sea, in the forms of water, fresh fruit and vegetables and, perhaps most critically, fuel.

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“ It ’ s a beautiful part of the world but it ’ s getting smashed by marine debris,” he said. A big motive for the data collection is to help stakeholders to understand where the debris is coming from, so they can then work with industries and governments to cut off litter at the source.

A cyclist is seen wearing a breathing mask to protect himself from a thick smoke haze that hangs over Melbourne from the bushfires. Kayakers were spotted going about their usual activities as authorities warn people to stay inside. The rain could also ease the smoke, which is expected to last well into

Last weekend, after the C-27J Spartan military plane touched down at a small airport, air force personnel gathered their weight behind a giant bladder full of diesel fuel to roll it down the tarmac. This is the first time in Australia’s history that military reservists have been called up to respond to fires.

a group of people standing in a room: The Mallacoota Pub, powered by generator, has become an oasis for people still in town. © Provided by The New York Times The Mallacoota Pub, powered by generator, has become an oasis for people still in town.

For now, supplies in Mallacoota remain limited. On Sunday, the gas station was still restricting sales to about 1.5 gallons per person — and only for generators, not cars. Neighbors have suspected others of siphoning fuel, or wasting it on their boats. It was rumored that a truck had tried to break through the hazardous highway to deliver some, only to be forced back by the authorities.

In recent days, parts of the community have been hooked up to large generators. But many people are still rationing power. They say they haven’t been watching much television; they are catching up with the news only occasionally, when they read or watch it on their phones.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: A briefing Sunday for people who were part of the first convoy to leave Mallacoota, after the military cleared some roads north of town. © Provided by The New York Times A briefing Sunday for people who were part of the first convoy to leave Mallacoota, after the military cleared some roads north of town.

Most cannot believe their small town has made global headlines, and become a symbol of many Australians’ hopes for a new government policy toward climate change.

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Experts have confirmed it is an authentic message from a German ship. The note in the bottle, which Previously, the Guinness world record for the oldest message in a bottle was 108 years, between it "Tonya saw a whole lot of rubbish on the ground, and thought she'd help pick up some rubbish," Mr

“Often, Australians don’t realize it,” she said of the ubiquity of the machines. “ It ’ s like being a fish in water.” Their operators are often prominent The groups have increasingly flexed their muscles in state elections. Anti-gambling candidates who ran in Tasmania and South Australia this year faced a

“After all this happened, we heard we were on the news,” said Amy Preston, 23, whose family runs Beachcomber Caravan Park, which they protected during the blazes. Now, Ms. Preston said, “Mallacoota’s on the map.”

Others do not want to relive the trauma by watching repeated footage of their town in flames, said Michelle Gamble, who works at the gas station, which is also a tackle shop. On Sunday, customers offered the store’s workers hugs and empathy — rationing the town’s fuel had been an emotional roller coaster.

a man sitting on a bench in a park: Military reservists clearing fallen trees in Wiseleigh, Australia, west of Mallacoota. © Provided by The New York Times Military reservists clearing fallen trees in Wiseleigh, Australia, west of Mallacoota.

One woman came in asking for prawn bait, declaring that since it was the weekend, she was going fishing. Ms. Gamble encouraged her. “Good idea,” she said. “Go do something normal!”

a group of people walking down a dirt road: Clearing a road near Wiseleigh. © Provided by The New York Times Clearing a road near Wiseleigh.

Neighbors share food and power, opening up their homes to people who have lost theirs. The local pub, which is powered by generator to keep the beer cold and the jukebox rolling, has become one of the few places of reprieve.

Soldiers driving through Mallacoota. © Provided by The New York Times Soldiers driving through Mallacoota.

There’s “nothing else to do,” Mia Kroger, 25, said as she sat with her friends on Saturday night, drinking beer in an eerie halo of normalcy.

a car parked in front of a tree: The first convoy out of Mallacoota waited to depart on Sunday. © Provided by The New York Times The first convoy out of Mallacoota waited to depart on Sunday.

“I’ve got nowhere to go, but the feeling of being stuck here is kind of intimidating,” she added. “It feels weird not to be able to leave town.”

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Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia , is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands.

It also forced hundreds of tourists on to the streets as hotels were evacuated. Sharon O’Loughlin’ s elderly parents The east coast South Island university town of Dunedin issued a state-of-emergency evacuation Just as he was getting into bed Morton noticed the tide was the lowest he had ever seen .

Ms. Kroger’s friend Hannah Searl, 20, disagreed. “I know we’re stuck here, but I don’t feel stuck,” she said.

During the fires, Ms. Searl helped defend her family’s property by filling buckets from the swimming pool and leaping over her fence to douse the flames. “You couldn’t have gotten me out of here,” she said, “even if you tried.”

Around midnight, Ms. Searl climbed onto one of the bar tables and whistled: Her eldest sister had just had a baby in Arizona, and their mother, after being evacuated and taking flights through multiple cities, had made it to the birth. Soon after, the room was encircling Ms. Searl, dancing.

a group of people sitting at a train station: One of the many properties in Mallacoota destroyed by bushfires. © Provided by The New York Times One of the many properties in Mallacoota destroyed by bushfires.

Even as progress has been made toward reconnecting cut-off communities, many challenges remain. The greatest is clearing a 90-mile stretch of highway from Mallacoota to the town of Orbost in southeastern Australia.

a group of people sitting around a living room: Evacuees from Mallacoota at an air base in Sale, Australia, on Saturday. © Provided by The New York Times Evacuees from Mallacoota at an air base in Sale, Australia, on Saturday.

Darren McQuaid, an official in Orbost, said that among the thousands of miles of roads in the area, his team had managed to make only a fraction of them safe.

a tree in the middle of a road: The road into Mallacoota. © Provided by The New York Times The road into Mallacoota.

In recent weeks, the authorities have warned residents of the dangers of trying to cut their own way out of their communities. Others who evacuated before the fires have been unable to return, some to assess the devastation of their burned-down homes.

By Sunday, the military had cleared roads north of Mallacoota just enough for some vacationers and residents to leave in a convoy of more than 60 cars, escorted by fire trucks and police vehicles.

Those leaving, and those staying behind, said they felt confident that new life would eventually sprout from the scorched landscape. But they acknowledged that fires could one day tear through the community again.

Yolande Oakley, an artist who moved to Mallacoota with her husband nearly two decades ago, said that on New Year’s Eve, she took her grandchildren to safety on the jetty, where she bundled them in wet towels. She gave them iPads and earplugs to block out the wail of exploding gas bottles and the roar of the approaching inferno.

“I didn’t want them to see what was to come,” she said.

Now, the Oakleys eat dinner by flashlight. They keep food cold in a gas fridge usually used for camping, and charge their phones with a battery connected to their car.

They don’t mind; they live in paradise, after all. But Ms. Oakley worries that climate change will bring more horrific scenes like the ones she and her family are still grappling with.

“If we don’t address that,” she said, “that’s the future for us.”

At Microsoft News Australia we've partnered with the giving platform Benevity to raise funds for Australian Red Cross, St Vincent De Paul Society and The Salvation Army; these organisations are helping communities across the country devastated by bushfires. You can help these organisations by donating here and for the latest news and RFS links visit Bushfire emergency.

Residents stranded at Kingscote as CFS battles out-of-control blazes on Kangaroo Island .
The town of Kingscote on South Australia's Kangaroo Island is cut off as the Country Fire Service continues to battle a number of out-of-control blazes. Roads out of Kingscote, on the island's north-east, are closed due to a watch and act warning and some people have spent the night sleeping at the waters edge and on the town's oval.The town's airport has also been evacuated and closed and the emergency staging centre has been moved closer to Kingscote.About 1,800 people live in Kingscote.An emergency warning is in place around the Parndana township in the centre of the island.

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